Report: Rising Eugenic Abortions in Europe Halve Down Syndrome Births

Cute boy with Down syndrome playing with dad on in home living room
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Selective abortions have reduced the number of births of babies with Down syndrome in Europe by more than 50 percent, according to a report Tuesday by Catholic News Agency (CNA).

European birth data seem to confirm the fears of those who have argued that increased prenatal testing for Down syndrome has led many women to selectively abort their children, the report states.

Citing a December 2020 study in the European Journal of Human Genetics, the report notes that 54 percent fewer babies with Down syndrome were born in the United Kingdom during the period between 2011 and 2015 than would have been born without targeted abortions.

The study sought to compare the actual number of births of babies with Down syndrome with estimates of how many babies would have been born with Down syndrome had they not been aborted.

Without “selective terminations,” the study states, Europe would have seen an estimated 17,331 annual live births of children with Down syndrome from 2011–2015, as opposed to the approximate 8,031 annual births that actually occurred.

The estimated reduction of live births of children with Down syndrome by elective terminations during this period “was, on average, 54%, varying between 0% in Malta to 83% in Spain,” the study found.

Down syndrome “is increasingly shifting from a postnatal to a prenatal diagnosis,” the study declared, and Down syndrome-related “elective terminations” are increasing in the U.S. as well as in Europe.

In the UK, “non-invasive prenatal testing for Down syndrome has been available since 2012,” the CNA report notes, which roughly corresponds to the beginning of the period examined in the study.

The UK’s “Don’t Screen Us Out” campaign has sought to draw attention to the number of babies with Down syndrome and other non-fatal disabilities selectively aborted in the country in an effort to amend the Abortion Act of 1967 to outlaw eugenic abortions in the third trimester.

Poland has come under fire from pro-abortion groups after a High Court ruling in early October outlawed eugenic abortions performed on babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal struck down a provision allowing doctors to abort fetuses on the basis of congenital defects.

In its decision, the court argued that aborting a child because of probable birth defects constituted eugenics, an effort to rid society of the weak and undesirable, notoriously practiced by the Nazis against Jews and disabled persons, and advocated by Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger against blacks and minorities in the United States.

In response, the pro-abortion Women’s Strike movement organized demonstrations in a number of cities, with one group gathering in the center of Warsaw and then marching toward the house of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS).


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