In England and Wales between 1989 and 2012 almost 20,000 babies were diagnosed pre-natally with Down’s Syndrome. Of these, 92% were aborted.
Recently, the UK government has decided to roll out a new pre-natal test (NIPT test) for Down’s Syndrome. It is thought to be 98% accurate. It is likely to lead to over 100 Down’s Syndrome babies being identified each year, with the expectation that most of these, too, will be aborted.
In a TV programme this autumn, actress Sally Phillips (mother of an 11-year-old son, Olly, who has Down’s Syndrome), asked, ‘What’s so dreadful about Down’s Syndrome?’ Sally talks to parents, educators and medical people in order to try to find answers to her question.
Sally Phillips describes herself as pro-choice, although she clearly believes that abortion, at least for Down’s children, is wrong. Based on her own experience, she believes that Down’s people have much to offer society. But, as Ciarán Kelly points out, Sally’s argument does not go far enough:-
Find Ciarán Kelly’s article here.