“Abort it and try again.” That was the advice given by atheist Richard Dawkins, who further told a woman “It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.” That seems to be the prevalent thinking in places like Iceland, which CBS News reported was “on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion.”

The Atlantic is out with a cover story called “The Last Children of Down Syndrome,” and it heavily features Denmark, which offers prenatal Down syndrome screening to every pregnant woman; more than 95 percent choose to abort.

Sarah Zhang reports:

The medical field has also been grappling with its ability to offer this power. “If no one with Down syndrome had ever existed or ever would exist—is that a terrible thing? I don’t know,” says Laura Hercher, a genetic counselor and the director of student research at Sarah Lawrence College. If you take the health complications linked to Down syndrome, such as increased likelihood of early-onset Alzheimer’s, leukemia, and heart defects, she told me, “I don’t think anyone would argue that those are good things.”

But she went on. “If our world didn’t have people with special needs and these vulnerabilities,” she asked, “would we be missing a part of our humanity?”


Some are complaining that commenters didn’t read the article, but the headline makes it pretty clear which direction it points.


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