Will new, improved prenatal screening open door for eugenics?

In September 2012, a new blood test that screens preborn babies for Down syndrome was put on the market in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Lichtenstein by LifeCodexx, the biotech business that developed it.  Kurt Kondrich, whose 9-year-old daughter Chloe has Down syndrome, responded to the news in an article entitled “The Silent Repeat of Eugenic History” that was originally posted by RenewAmerica* and reprinted by American Life League at www.all.org. 

The new prenatal test is “targeted exclusively toward women in their 12th week of pregnancy and beyond who are at an increased risk” of having a child born with Down syndrome, and the reality of this test is that it places unborn children with Down syndrome at a higher risk of abortion. “In the near future, the PrenaTest will also be able to identify other chromosomal mutations such as trisomy 13 and 18,” said Dr. Michael Lutz, CEO of LifeCodexx, and the goal seems to be a society free of … “imperfections”. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, very strongly criticized the test by stating: “The issue here is artificial selection or eugenics, pure and simple. Is the infernal expression ‘life not worth living’ going to become reality again?”

The German Down Syndrome Information Centre sums up the issue well:  “People with trisomy 21 will, in the long run, be the first people with a different genetic makeup to disappear from our society, and with the tacit approval of the majority.” Eugenic history in German-speaking Europe is recent and very well documented, and there are survivors who can recount the dark horrors of this movement….

Current statistics indicate that 90%+ of children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome are indentified, targeted and terminated. This new prenatal test will only make it easier to select abortion over life, and it may lead to the extinction of all human beings deemed defective by a culture of death.

Kondrich refers his readers to the website of a strong advocate in New Zealand of those with mental disabilities: http://www.savingdowns.com/. North American readers may also be interested in the English-speaking branch of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, with a website at http://lejeuneusa.org/  .

*Excerpts reprinted with permission from RenewAmerica.

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About Michael J. Miller 127 Articles
Michael J. Miller Michael J. Miller translated Priesthood and Diaconate by Gerhard Ludwig Müller for Ignatius Press and Eucharist and Divorce: A Change in Doctrine? for the Pontifical John Paul II Institute.