Sweden: more Down syndrome prenatal testing, more selective abortion

That is the news out of Sweden: as prenatal testing for Down syndrome has expanded, there have been more abortions following a Down syndrome diagnosis. What do you think about the way this news was reported?

Specifically, here is the screen image from the on-line story reporting the news that as more counties in Sweden have begun offering prenatal testing, there has been an increase in the number of selective abortions for Down syndrome:


I’d like to know what you think about the image chosen to go along with the story headlined “Prenatal tests boost Swedish abortion figures.” I think it may be the stupidest image I’ve seen for a news story about increasing abortions. What do you think?

Please leave your comment below (and feel free to leave a comment on the story’s website).


  1. There’s always been an argument presented by eugenicists that aborting children with genetic difference is an act of love. It’s becoming a more common argument in defending abortion in general and is an inevitable consequence of dehumanising humans before birth. The image reflects that element of a broken culture.

    • Mike, I considered that, as well, but I think you’re giving the editors too much credit here. There’s a saying that when stupidity can explain something, it is more likely then that the cause is just stupidity rather than maliciousness. I think the editors were simply stupid, seeing a story related to pregnancy and grabbing a stock image to go along with it, not even appreciating what the “news” aspect of the story was, more selective abortions.

  2. It is an act of love

    • Our daughter has brought so much love into the world. It’s awesome.

    • Suzy Dymock says:

      Oh my goodness-this rubbish idea that it is an “act of love” has wormed its way into peoples’ minds….obviously via the companies who wish to make millions out of pre natal screening. So now the death warrant for people with DS is now “choice” and “act of love” yeah right people. Not true. This is WRONG. people with Down syndrome have very good lives thanks very much and your hiding under this misconception is a cop out and a means of trying to justify this atrocity, this in-humane treatment of a vulnerable and innocent sector of society. Wrong people, wrong.

  3. It breaks my heart that these women are choosing termination and therefore miss out on the most amazing love affair of their entire lives. Very few people are prepared for a child with a disability but most of us are so blessed and thankful to have been chosen. I have four children and my youngest has Down syndrome and I feel the most blessed of any parent. I watched some women the other day looking at my son whispering behind hands and glancing at me with pity. Such a shame as I’m the one who feels so sad for them that they don’t have what I have – funny how life can switch round in a heartbeat. I fear for the future of this world that is working to remove those children that give such love, life and fun to the world for their entire life. I guess we only will want responsible boring uninventive adults next.

    • Hi Samantha,
      I know exactly what you mean… I have gotten those same looks and whispers, and I feel the exact same way as you do. I always feel bad for those who have such narrow and/or closed minds, for they truly have closed the door on an opportunity they they will not find elsewhere in the entire world. It’s a shame others don’t have the blessings we know in our community. I love your comment regarding responsible, boring, uninventive adults, you really hit the nail on the head with uninventive…our guys are anything but. 🙂 Thanks for posting.

    • I couldn’t agree more! My daughter’s brother-in-law has Down Syndrome. He is 34 years old and was the best man at her wedding to his brother 10 years ago. He is truly the most inspirational person I know! I cannot begin to imagine how many peoples lives would be less enhanced if his mother had decided to abort him. He is such a light of positive spirit in this dark world, dearly loved & cherished by those of us beyond blessed to know him! I’m sure your guys light up the world around them too. They are true gifts from God!

  4. God I wish people had both sides of a story before they make such huge decisions in life, especially when the decision is pertaining to human life. I would not have missed the opportunity to learn and grow with my Grandson for anything in this life. He has brought us so much joy and happiness, he has been the three generational bonding of our once rather parted family. We see each other more often, we appreciate each visit more, and we ALL definitely are much better people because of him. Colby was born on Christmas Day 2003 with nondisjunction trisomy 21, and an ability to help others see the world through different color glasses. Happy Holidays to ALL.

  5. clytamnestra says:

    sure i understand how the idea of aborting a fetus with down-syndrom might make people who have the disease feel uneasy: ‘so you think i should not be alive?’
    but if we follow that logic we should as well stop imposing speed-limits: how dare we try to prevent traffic-accidents and thus give accident-victims the idea that they are worth less than people that are not wheelchair-bound for the rest of their life?
    just because you think existing down-patients have every right to good government-paid care does not mean you have to support creating more of them.

    no way to say this without hurting the feelings of a lot of people: some people give of the vibe that their reason for non-abortion was so that they may drag around their ‘look at me sacrificing myself for my handicapped child’ price.

    living with down-syndrom is hard. especially when you are no longer a cute little child but an adult who is fully aware of his limitations and often pretty pissed about that fact (yes, hollywood lied to us, just because you have the intelligence of a child does not mean you will always live in innocent childless wonder). or they can have a serious problem understanding social rules (a lot of them have an obsession with sex: not with actually having it but with telling filthy jokes at very bad moments and giggling uncontrollably about it).
    you spend your whole life being dependent on other people for simple tasks (like doing finances), never quit living up even if you try hard, until you eventually meet an early death.

    • Do you have a loved one in your family with Down syndrome? If not, what is your closest relationship with someone with Down syndrome? Or, do you not have one beyond perhaps seeing them in the community?

  6. I am a mother to 3 children, out which the youngest has DS. He is now 8. He was diagnosed 20 minutes after his birth. He has brought a different perspective to all our lives. Redefined us all.

    We’ve only just had 8 years of him, I can’t wait to see what more he’ll bring for the rest of our lives together. By being who he is, he has made the impossible seem possible! Just imagine for a moment, experiencing unconditional love…completely selfless love. And it is supported by gestures, and visuals. He smiles from his heart, while he gently touches you 🙂

    If I had a confirmed diagnosis of DS while I was still carrying him, God only knows what I would have done about it. It is impossible for me to put myself in someone else’s position regarding this matter.
    Everyone has different circumstances.
    No one else has the power to decide for anyone else.

    Listen to their reasons, but as a response you can only offer advice and guidance, and not get offended, or become judgemental about their decision.

    I don’t think there is any discussion about that. It’s a choice, like many others offered to us. People make different choices!

    The legitimacy of the test, can only be targeted to the creators of it.


  1. […] abortions in the wake of more women accepting prenatal testing for Down syndrome. I thought it a very stupid image for the […]

  2. […] the dramatic decrease in live births to increasing uptake of prenatal testing. Similarly, Sweden announced that after just a few years of instituting a prenatal testing program, there had been an […]

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