An endangered species?

The Canadian Down Syndrome Society has launched a campaign to get people living with Down syndrome placed on the endangered species list.

Some may see this as crude and even insulting, essentially comparing people with Down syndrome to animals. Really, they are only making the point that if endangered animals deserve special protections and support, surely they should, too.

More importantly, it seems they've touched on a far more offensive and urgent issue. 

In their application to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the CDSS refers to many alarming statistics that show plummeting birth rates of people with Down syndrome in several countries around the world.

While they are very careful not to portray themselves as a "pro-life" organization, the society openly acknowledges that the extremely high rate of abortion (upwards of 90 per cent in some studies) of pre-born babies diagnosed with the genetic condition is the number one cause of their drastically declining population. 

Recently, Iceland bragged that through pre-natal testing and eugenic abortion practices, they have "successfully" eradicated all Down syndrome in their country. 

Still, the CDSS is stoically "pro-choice" even in the face of efforts to eradicate the very people they exist to serve. 

While the society no doubt does fantastic advocacy work for many Canadians living with Down syndrome, their cognitive dissonance on the eugenic abortion matter makes one wonder in what direction their moral compass points.

The state of Indiana recently enacted legislation prohibiting abortion solely because the baby has Down syndrome. Perhaps the CDSS ought to advocate for similar legislation here in Canada if they really want to save their client population from extinction. 

Marlon Bartram,
Kelowna Right to Life Society

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