News and Commentary

WATCH: National Down Syndrome Society Releases Moving 40th Anniversary Video

On February 8, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) celebrated its 40th anniversary by releasing a powerful video.

The video features a doctor listing off all of the alleged “limitations” a person with Down syndrome will have to address in their lives. In between each statement by the doctor, individuals with Down syndrome rebut his remarks.

“Down syndrome?” the doctor says. “There will be a lot of limitations.”

The video cuts to a woman wearing a graduation gown, who says: “Are you sure about that?”

Each time the doctor makes a statement, a person with Down syndrome interjects, citing their successes — from owning a business to being happily married for more than a decade, from being a weightlifting champion to a Washington lobbyist.

“Your limitations, not mine.”

The NDSS is a non-profit advocacy organization that was started in 1979 by Barton and Betsy Goodwin, who, after having a child with Down syndrome, found that “support and resources available to parents of a child with [such a condition] were very limited.”

The organization advocates for and is working on legislation that would allow individuals with Down syndrome to:

Seek competitive employment opportunities by increasing income limitations and ending sub-minimum wage practices.

Work and live where they desire by creating a more portable Medicaid program with greater flexibility.

Benefit from more job opportunities driven by new tax incentives that small businesses and corporations will receive when hiring someone with Down syndrome or another disability.

Achieve economic-self-sufficiency from the expansion of successful disability programs like the National ABLE Program.

Despite organizations like the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) working to end the stigma associated with the chromosomal disorder, also known as Trisomy 21, several developed nations are attempting to eliminate the syndrome entirely using prenatal diagnosis and abortion.

As The Daily Wire has previously reported, Iceland has an almost 100% termination rate of fetuses prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS). In England, the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register for England and Wales (NDSCR) reports that approximately 90% of fetuses prenatally diagnosed with DS are aborted. In Denmark, it’s 98%, and in France, it’s 77%. In the United States, the termination rate is estimated to be 67%, according to a 2012 paper titled, “Prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome: a systematic review of termination rates.”

Down syndrome advocate Frank Stephens said it best when he told the United Nations at Geneva:

We are the canary in the eugenics coal mine. Genomic research is not going to stop at screening for Down syndrome. We have an opportunity right now to slow down and think about the ethics of deciding that certain humans do not get a chance at life.

The next NDSS event will be the 2019 “Buddy Walk” on March 5 and 6, which “is an annual two-day advocacy conference that brings the Down syndrome community together to advocate for legislative priorities that impact the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families.”