France to ban people with Down syndrome from smiling
Last week another big step was taken towards the mass persecution of children with Down syndrome. On November 10th, the French ‘State Counsel’ rejected an appeal made by people with Down syndrome, their families and allies to lift the ban on broadcasting the award winning “Dear Future Mom” video on French television. The ban was previously imposed by the French Broadcasting Counsel. Kids who are unjustly described as a ‘risk’ before they are born, are now wrongfully portrayed as a ‘risk’ after birth too.
The video features a number of young people from around the globe telling about their lives. Their stories reflect today’s reality of living with Down syndrome and aims to reassure women who have received a prenatal diagnosis. Their message of hope takes away the fears and questions these women may have, often based on outdated stereotypes. The video was produced in 2014 to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. A day created by Down Syndrome International and officially recognized by the United Nations for the promotion of the human rights of people with Down syndrome.
Happy children with Down “disturb the conscience” of post-abortion women
The State Counsel said that allowing people with Down syndrome to smile was “inappropriate” because people’s expression of happiness was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices”.
So our kids, whom studies from the USA and the Netherlands have proven to be much happier than the cranky, sulky bunch who go trough life without Down syndrome, are banned from public television because their happy faces make post-abortion women feel uncomfortable. Women must continue to believe in the myth that society and medical professionals portray; that Down syndrome is a life of suffering, a burden to their family and society. Obviously, if the truth gets out that 99% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives, society may start to question the systematic screening and deliberate mass elimination*) under the pretense of health-care and women’s rights.
*) 96% of pregnancies that are diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted in France. Worldwide this number is estimated to be about 90%.
What’s next: institutionalization?
The problem that I have with this ban is that I have three kids; two happen to have Down syndrome. What’s next? Will kids with Down syndrome be banned from school? Will they be segregated from society and placed in institutions like in the old days, because their presence upsets post-abortion parents? See this ban is akin to putting people with Down syndrome away because their presence ‘confronts’ society with the reality of their systematic eradication. Eradication not to ‘prevent suffering’, but because authorities have decided that their differences place a burden on our lives and society. A burden that we refuse to carry collectively.
I have a much better idea, let’s not ban the video but make it compulsory for every couple considering a selective abortion for Down syndrome. Let’s show them the truth that families with Down syndrome have an enormous good quality of life. Let’s show a future of hope, unconditional love and yes, a lot of smiles and happiness. To those who persevere in their negative, discriminatory view on life with Down syndrome I would like to say: you may be free to make a choice; but you are not free from the consequences of that choice. Our children should not be the ones bearing the consequences of your choice.
We can stop the discrimination
While Lejeune Foundation takes the matter to the European Court for Human Rights the French press has remained quiet about it. A petition has started to ask the French government to intervene. Please sign, support and share happiness!
Renate Lindeman is the spokesperson for Downpride and representative of Saving Down syndrome. These are International social justice groups that, together with UK’s Don’t Screen Us Out campaign, promote awareness and equality for people with Down syndrome.