Written by: Samantha Kamman
Article source: www.liveaction.org

President Donald Trump affirmed the humanity of children with disabilities in a recent presidential message released by the White House to coincide with National Down Syndrome Awareness month this October. Individuals with Down syndrome may experience physical and mental challenges as a result of an extra or partial chromosome 21. Regardless of these difficulties, surveys of people with the condition have found that 99% of them are happy with their lives.

“These treasured members of our society are sources of inspiration to the many families and communities graced by their lives. Those living with Down syndrome face unique challenges, reminding us every day that it is incumbent upon us as a nation, to continue empowering them to reach their full potential,” the president stated.

As the statement noted, “around 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome every year.” The presidential message denounced abortions taken against children who have been diagnosed with the condition, emphasizing how the Trump administration is committed to “standing against those who seek to discriminate, devalue, and demean the sanctity of their lives.”

In recent years, great strides have been made in developmental research and therapies to improve the lives of Americans with Down syndrome. In 2019, The National Institutes of Health invested $35 million toward new grants that would advance Down syndrome research. Then, in September 2020, an additional $60 million in funding was added to provide new treatment and diagnostic options for Americans with Down syndrome.

The Down syndrome community is still threatened by abortion, despite these efforts to improve the lives of individuals with the condition and create a more inclusive society for children who have it. A CBS News report found that between 1995 and 2011, 67% of preborn babies were aborted after being diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero. 

Perhaps even more shocking is research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute which found that the population of people living with the condition has been reduced by 30% due to abortions taking place after a prenatal diagnosis. The possibility that a child may live with a disability should not determine his or her value.

“As our society progresses toward a more inclusive future, there are still those who pass judgment on which lives are worth living,” Trump said of this disturbing trend. “As President, I denounce radical proposals to terminate pregnancies of unborn children with Down syndrome. Our Nation will continue to emphatically affirm the self-evident ideal that all children—born and unborn—are created in the image of God, are worthy of life, and deserve to be loved.” 

The president concluded his messages by saying, “Our country must never run astray from the certitude that the lives of those with Down syndrome are precious and full of potential. During Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we are reminded that we must never waver in our efforts to support these individuals so that they can enrich the soul of our Nation with their joy and love.”

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Date published: 10/10/2020

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