Monday, July 25, 2011

Saving Down Syndrome

A New Zealand group has formed called Saving Down Syndrome. The goal of the group is to counteract the genetic screening which the New Zealand government has recently pursued to find out about the diagnosis of Down Syndrome prenatally.

As I've said numerous times on here before, I have no problem with prenatal testing for Down syndrome if the goal is to help and better improve the life of the baby with Down syndrome. But, unfortunately, most of the time, the child is aborted and not helped. As the statistics show time and again 90% of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

It's sickening and sad.

Here's a quote about what Saving Down Syndrome is trying to do:

At we advocate for the life of people with Down syndrome from conception to natural death.

We are a New Zealand based group of parents and siblings of people with Down syndrome. We have formed in response to the New Zealand Government's new state funded eugenic antenatal screening programme that targets and identifies unborn children with Down syndrome for selective abortion. Were in the news for standing for the life of people with Down syndrome.

As reported on TV3 News we lodged an application with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 29 June 2011 against the screening programme. The ICC has confirmed that this application is being considered. The Office of the Prosecutor has been asked to investigate and intervene in the Ministry of Health's antenatal screening programme, as it persecutes against people with Down syndrome through the prevention of their births.

The eugenic nature of the screening programme was exposed in TV3's 60 Minutes documentary on 12 June 2011 “Down but not out''.

The 60 Minutes documentary was introduced with the statement “people with Down syndrome may soon disappear from the face of the earth.'' 60 Minutes revealed the new screening programme was introduced without public consultation and the Ministry of Health “did not bother'' asking the opinion of anyone who has Down syndrome, about the programme.

Mike Sullivan, father of three-year-old Rebecca Sullivan who has Down syndrome, featured in the 60 Minutes documentary. He said people with Down syndrome and other disabilities are human beings who live full and rewarding lives. “They must be treated on an equal basis with other members of our society, without any form of discrimination.''

De-Anne Jensen, mother of three with her oldest son having Down syndrome also featured on 60 Minutes. “Government documents say it costs less not to have children with Down syndrome around, so it looks like they are working to do away with Down syndrome. It's cheaper; you don't have to pay for the special needs things. The Government and medical experts are putting a monetary value on our baby's lives,'' Mrs Jensen said.

The complaint references Government Cabinet papers obtained under the Official Information Act stating the outcomes of the programme will be a reduction in the number of births of people with Down syndrome, with around 90% of unborn children diagnosed with the condition being terminated. The persecution of an identifiable group of the civilian population through the prevention of births is specifically prohibited under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to which New Zealand is signatory.

The programme is promoted and funded by the government at a cost of $9.4M per year, or around $75,000 per unborn child diagnosed with Down syndrome.

We are supported by parents of children with other disabilities that are being similarly targeted and other organisations who support their concerns.

Our position statement is that genetic screening must not be used to prevent the birth of unborn children with Down syndrome, or cause harm to any unborn child.

We recognises genetic testing may help some parents prepare for the birth of a child with Down syndrome. Any testing must respect the life and integrity of the unborn child, cause no harm, be only directed towards safeguarding or healing the unborn child and be presented in a way that does not discriminate against people with Down syndrome or any disability. Any testing must be developed in full engagement with those with Down syndrome.



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