There was some surprisingly good news from the UK yesterday – the numbers of births of children with Down Syndrome has risen since 2000. A number of articles and an explanation are linked to this blog from the New York Times.
But the news is not entirely good. As Dominic Lawson wrote in an editorial in The Independent, it is actually the medical profession that remains most against pre-born children with Down Syndrome actually being born:
For make no mistake: despite all the progress which children with Down Syndrome are now making in schools and homes up and down the country, the medical profession in general still has a visceral bias in favour of eugenic termination, which its practitioners are often startlingly crude in expressing. This is not based on a realistic and up-to-date assessment of the possibilities open to those with Down Syndrome, still less of the happiness which such people can and do bring to families and even communities as a whole: it is a function of the fact – which is undeniable – that people with Down Syndrome are likely to cost the NHS more in subsequent medical treatment than a child without any disabilities.
Lawson, in Shame on the doctors prejudiced against Down Syndrome, makes additional observations about health care in the UK, and how the search for pre-born disabled babies has resulted in a large number of non-disabled babies also lost to abortion or miscarriage due to medical procedures.
The good news of more babies with Down Syndrome being born could be short-term if we do not persevere to provide potential parents with a different reality – including a clear articulation of the supremacy and sufficiency of God in all situations, regardless of what medical professionals may say.