Following nearly 100% of prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome in Iceland, parents chose to kill their child in the womb, according to a recent report by CBS News. The almost complementary twitter caption for this article suggested that the people of Iceland had found a cure for Down syndrome, rather than simply killing countless children for their disability. The media reaction to eugenics has been disturbingly positive.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 15, 2017
If this slaughter was not horrifying enough, consider all the people who view it with indifference or even approval. Parents ask for tests to decide whether their child has a right to life and their society behaves as if nothing is amiss. The desire to live in comfort leads so many to ignore the horrible price, the uncomfortable truth. In Iceland, your humanity is conditional.
A society ostensibly dedicated to combating ableism eradicates a condition by killing those who have it. It indicates not only enormous selfishness and moral decay but also the return of an evil ideology from the past, eugenics.
History of Eugenics
Initially, many saw eugenics as simply a step towards improving society by applying the research of Mendel and Darwin to humans. However, eugenics quickly became an instrument of the culture of death and a source of countless violations of our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Parts of the United States, including Virginia, embraced this practice. The state government sterilized countless people with mental illness and other conditions. At the same time, Margaret Sanger, a chief proponent of eugenics and the founder of Planned Parenthood sought to prevent minorities from having children. Just as some eugenicists killed the disabled to “improve” humanity, Sanger sought to limit the number of African-American births in the country. Her legacy lives on in Planned Parenthood and the alt-right. The first is responsible for the murder of countless unborn African-Americans, while many in the latter group support abortion for the same reason.
The National Socialists in Germany adopted many of these ideas. The elderly, the mentally disabled, the physically disabled, the Jews, and many minorities within the region conquered by the Nazis were systematically slaughtered, ostensibly in pursuit of a “better” mankind. The horror which the widespread application of eugenics in Nazi Germany caused would temporarily damage the popularity of the practice throughout the West. It seems we are beginning to forget.
Quality of Life
Of course, Icelanders do not openly claim to be “improving” the human race by aborting those with Down syndrome. As in the case of Charlie Gard, many claim to be acting in the interests of the child. They weigh the child’s future quality of life, but almost always determine that this life is not worth living.
They do not have the right to speak for anyone else in this way, yet they routinely do so. However, this “quality of life” debate is not just a violation of basic human rights. It is the mark of a society without God, a decaying society. A society that kills those who “inconvenience” it, wherever and whenever they cannot speak for themselves. This culture of death, often condemned by Pope Francis, pressures the elderly and the sick to consider euthanasia. It kills the unborn, whether for mere convenience or some perceived imperfection.
They have never met those who love their brother, sister, son or daughter who has Down syndrome. They are friends, employees, altar servers, and contributors to our society. I know this from experience because my Catholic community loves each and every one of its children. We recognize their right to life, their humanity. They love life just as much as the rest of us if not more. The eugenicists cannot comprehend this. Icelanders will never give them the chance to love or be loved.
Wages of the Culture of Death
A society that permits such evil will not and should not long survive. Many right-wing observers, rightly or wrongly, fear the combination of falling European birth rates and refugees. Yet this would not be such a great concern if the refugees assimilated and Icelanders raised a new patriotic generation. Iceland has failed on both counts, while this is unlikely to change in the future.
As Icelanders have fewer and fewer children, I see no reason why the next generation there should feel any attachment to their culture.
The potential danger of disaffected youths joining a variety of extremist movements is manifested as they grow to despise their own civilization or even all mankind. Homegrown extremists commit acts of terror, while girls travel abroad to become brides of ISIS. Birth rates decline and native populations age. Religiosity falls as the few who remain wonder how their society eroded so quickly. Mene. Mene. Teckel. Upharsin.
Follow the author on Twitter at: @TOsh0w