October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
According to the CDC, Down syndrome is the “most common chromosomal condition diagnosed in the United States.” In recent decades, prenatal diagnostic testing has become increasingly common, including for Down syndrome. While testing can be a valuable tool for identifying and treating conditions that threaten the health or life of the mother and/or child, it is also being used to abort children who have been diagnosed with potential genetic abnormalities.
Down syndrome awareness month is a time to celebrate the successes of people with Down syndrome while reflecting on the continuing needs of the community. Some studies have indicated that between 50 and 90 percent of children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.
As a society, we are more invested than ever in supporting people with Down syndrome—once they are born. Last month, $60 million was dedicated to bolster federal Down syndrome research. Down syndrome advocates like model Grace Strobel, who just landed her first national skin care campaign, reach new heights.
When introducing her family, Judge Amy Barrett said that all her children say their youngest brother Benjamin, who has Down syndrome, is their favorite sibling. Though who live with Down syndrome live happy and fulfilled lives, but too often those lives are cut short before they even take their first breath.
As President Trump stated in his Down syndrome awareness month remarks:
“As our society progresses toward a more inclusive future, there are still those who pass judgment on which lives are worth living. As President, I denounce radical proposals to terminate pregnancies of unborn children with Down syndrome. Our Nation will continue to emphatically affirm the self-evident ideal that all children—born and unborn—are created in the image of God, are worthy of life, and deserve to be loved.
“Our country must never run astray from the certitude that the lives of those with Down syndrome are precious and full of potential. During Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we are reminded that we must never waver in our efforts to support these individuals so that they can enrich the soul of our Nation with their joy and love.”
A Down syndrome diagnosis should never represent a death warrant. Too many people are aborted because they possess genetic differences. We have hundreds of laws protecting people with genetic anomalies once they are born, and we must extend that same kindness and protection to all people regardless of age, location, or genes.
Celebrating the gains made by the Down syndrome advocacy community to improve people’s health and social outcomes, we must be mindful to always support and defend the most vulnerable among us—those members of the human family still in the womb.