As an individual with a disability, the Americans With Disabilities Act has probably had more impact on my life than any other piece of legislation in recent history. According to the official ADA website, “The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”
Unfortunately, the federal government forgot one very important provision.
You wouldn’t think that this would be a problem in the 21st century.
Our society that worships at the altars of Diversity and Equality apparently only wants to celebrate these values when they don’t move into their own houses. When those gods become burdensome, then they get trumped by the overlord, Convenience.
The problem is that no one wants to admit this, so data is hard to come by, but I have done a little bit of independent research particularly about Down Syndrome in the United Kingdom.
Thanks to the Pro Life Alliance staging a five-year legal battle that concluded in 2010, the Department of Health released abortion statistics related to disability for the year of 2010.
During that year, 482 babies were aborted because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome. This is legal in the United Kingdom due to the Abortion Act of 1967 which states that abortion is completely legal if, “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.”
The United Kingdom is a pretty large nation though, so you might be thinking that 482 children is not that many in the grand scheme of things. However, a study published in the European Journal of Human Genetics in 2011 estimated that there were only 650 people under one-year-old in the United Kingdom with Down Syndrome.
These two numbers are complementary. The children under one-year-old would have been born in 2010, so that would coincide with the information that the government released in 2010 about the number of children aborted.
What shocks you about that information?
42.5% of children who had Down Syndrome were aborted in the United Kingdom in 2010.
This number might even be a bit conservative because potentially of those 650 children who were born, some mothers might not have undergone prenatal testing. If approximately one third of those people did not undergo prenatal testing, then the death percentage increases to over 50%.
If you go to older studies in the United States, the numbers are even more grim.
According to a 1998 study in the American Journal of Medical Genetics, a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome led to a 86.9% death rate for the unborn child at Wayne State University from 1989-1997.
Another long-term study in Hawaii between 1987 and 1996 that was published in 1999 in Prenatal Diagnosis showed an 84% death rate for children who were prenatally diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
I am going to talk more about this next time, but I want these numbers to sink in. Each of these studies was conducted after receiving a prenatal diagnosis. In other words, prior to realizing their child would have a disability, these parents to intended to complete the pregnancy.
The problem was not the pregnancy; the problem was the disability. Society believes diversity and equality are great (and they are), but the hypocrisy here is remarkable when convenience is threatened.