Iceland Has Almost Eliminated Down Syndrome, And People’s Reactions Are Heartbreaking
Even though people with Down syndrome are gaining more visibility year by year, they have almost completely disappeared in Iceland.
Only 2 children a year are born with Down syndrome in Iceland and their findings sparked a huge ethics debate online.
The National University Hospital of Iceland has been offering prenatal screening tests to pregnant women, which is an essential step in detecting development problems in the fetus. (including Down syndrome). Nearly 100% of the Icelandic women choose to terminate their pregnancies upon diagnosis of the disorder, and only 67% of the women in the US choose to do so. That is why Down syndrome is extremely rare in Iceland, and geneticist Kari Stefansson says that they have almost eradicated Down syndrome from their society.
All of the abortions performed in Iceland were made by the choice of the mothers, contrary to the accusations of forced abortions and ‘social cleansing’.
Head of Landspítali’s Prenatal Diagnosis Unit Hulda Hjartardottir said that they try to do the counselling as neutral as possible, but there are still people who think that even offering the test is pointing towards a certain direction.
Some people still argue that terminating all Down’s pregnancies is unethical because Down syndrome’s children existence should be valued in the society as well.
Nearly 100% of the Icelandic women terminate their pregnancies upon diagnosis of the disorder, while only 67% of the US women do so.
The National University Hospital of Iceland published the statistics, and 70% of all Icelandic children are born there.
Each of the abortions is completely by the choice of the mother, even though there were Internet accusations that these abortions are forced.
People have been sharing stories of their family members who live with Down syndrome
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