ROME — Pope Francis said Sunday all children enjoy the same right to life regardless of their situation, in commemoration of World Down Syndrome Day.
“Every child who a woman expects in her womb is a gift that changes a family’s history: the life of fathers and mothers, grandparents and of brothers and sisters,” the pope declared in a tweet in support of babies with Down Syndrome.
“That child needs to be welcomed, loved and nurtured. Always!” he said, adding the hashtag “#WorldDownSyndromeDay”.
The pontiff sent out a similar message on this date in 2019, urging all persons with Down syndrome “be welcomed, appreciated, and never discarded, right from their mother’s womb.”
Pope Francis has also condemned what he called the “eugenic tendency” behind eliminating unborn babies with handicaps, which reveals a “narcissistic and utilitarian vision.”
This selfish mentality leads many to consider people with disabilities as marginal, without perceiving their human and spiritual wealth, the pope said in October 2017, as he addressed participants in a conference titled “Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities: A Necessary Engagement in the Daily Pastoral Life of the Church.”
Too many people still reject this condition, Francis said, “as if it prevented them from being happy and fulfilled.”
“Proof of it is the eugenic tendency to suppress the unborn who have some form of imperfection,” he said.
Pope Francis has advanced the cause for the canonization of Jérôme Lejeune, a French pro-life scientist best known for his groundbreaking work on Down syndrome. https://t.co/tfCDGjM9aD
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) January 25, 2021
“I was thinking about the custom of doing away with babies before they’re born, this horrendous crime,” Francis said. “They do away with them because it’s easier like that, because it’s more comfortable. It’s a great responsibility — a very grave sin.”
“We are called to defend and safeguard human life, especially in the mother’s womb, in infancy, old age and physical or mental disability,” he said in a post on Twitter.
Studies indicate that some 67 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the United States are aborted, while in many other countries, the percentage is higher still, and the abortion industry has fought tenaciously to allow women to selectively abort children thought to have the condition.
World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated every March 21 (3/21), an allusion to an extra (3rd) 21st chromosome possessed by people with the condition.