The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), a human rights NGO with consultative status to the United Nations and an affiliate of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), delivered an oral intervention before the UN Human Rights Council to raise concern over the high global abortion rates for unborn babies with Down Syndrome after they are diagnosed through prenatal testing.
The ECLJ cited the UN’s program of action of the Durban Conference (Report of the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance), Paragraph 73 which “urges States to take measures to prevent genetic research or its applications (…) from being used for discriminatory or racist purposes.”
“With the rise of prenatal screening tests across the world,” the ECLJ said, “Down syndrome people are facing the threat of eradication and some countries, such as Iceland, are on the verge of eradicating all Down syndrome births.”
“This systematic elimination of affected children before -- or even at birth -- is a contemporary form of eugenics and racism,” they conclude. “This new form of eugenics is unacceptable.
The ECLJ pointed out that “these children can live a happy life, children and adults with Down syndrome are treated and seen as a failure by the health system and society, and most importantly: in the name of liberty and choice, children are selected and disposed of because of their genetics and appearance.”
“These unacceptable discriminations must stop,” they said, urging the Council to “recognize and recall the inherent dignity of every human person, from conception to death, before the medical profession ‘eradicates’ another innocent group of children.”
High rates of abortion for unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are prevalent all over the world.
A recent CBS report highlighted the near 100 percent abortion rate for those diagnosed with the condition. Denmark has a 98 percent abortion rate following screening and diagnosis of the condition and in France the number is 77 percent. Even in the United States, 67 percent of those diagnosed with the condition are aborted.