Footage from The new A&E Docu-Series "Born This Way."
It seems bizarre that someone capable of formulating a sentence thinks it’s necessary to defend his own humanity, but sadly, John was speaking for himself and millions of others like him who, based on a prenatal genetic test, were recommended for abortion.
John survived. Most don’t.
The statistics are hard to pin down, but experts estimate 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are never born. Think about the last time you saw a child with the telltale facial features indicative of the genetic condition. It’s far more likely you’ll see them in an adult, who was born before prenatal testing became routine. That doesn’t mean Down syndrome is becoming less prevalent; it means that parents are less and less likely to carry these pregnancies to term.
During the closing credits, John’s mother explains that her family is participating in the program in order to give hope to other families who might be facing the same prenatal diagnosis she did. The show aims to change the perception of individuals with the condition — which Steven, another star, calls “Up Syndrome” because he refuses to be depressed or sad.
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Medical science has made it possible to learn about a Down diagnosis via a prenatal test. Parents can learn about the challenges babies, children and adults might face with the condition — but all that focuses on the negatives, not the joy children with Down bring their parents.
Weeding out genetic diseases like Down, whose sufferers can and still d [ o lead full and healthy lives, is eugenics, pure and simple. The most extreme version of which comes from the barbaric terrorists of ISIS, who reportedly issued a decree to execute babies born with Down and other genetic diseases.
In the West, most Down babies don’t make it to birth. There are genetic screening tests for preconception for excruciating and deadly diseases like Tay-Sachs. The difference with testing for Down is two-fold: The test is only possible after conception, and the only prenatal “treatment” is termination.
The fact that we need a TV show to humanize individuals with Down syndrome is deeply troubling to begin with.
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When John’s mother was told she was pregnant with a child with Down, she was told by doctors, “Don’t expect a lot . . . He will never be a productive member of society.”
With more and more babies with Down aborted, it has become vital to show the world just how wonderful and, yes, normal, life with a Down syndrome family member can be.
The people that so many of us don’t consider people
By Bethany Mandel
New York Post
December 14, 2015 | 8:00pm