CBS pretty proud of Iceland for 'eliminating' Down Syndrome by killing everyone who has it

Headshot image of Dan Calabrese
Published by: Dan Calabrese on Tuesday August 15th, 2017

You want to denounce Nazis? Here you go, America.

Don't tell me again about the moral imperative to denounce Nazis if you're going to let this slide.

As Rob mentioned to me when we were discussing who would write this up, the essence of Hitler's eugenics program was to filter out children who didn't have the traits deemed optimal for the Aryan race. Horrifying? Obviously. You'd have a fit if they started aborting babies for having brown skin, or - if there was some way you could tell - for being gay.

And you should have that fit.

But you don't need to wait. You can have the fit right now, because Iceland is well down this road. There, expectant mothers are given blood tests to determine if there's a likelihood their baby will have Down Syndrome. And if it looks that way? Well, the mothers are informed that most abort under these circumstances. No one wants a child who doesn't have the perfect designer genes, you understand, so Iceland is now to the point where almost 100 percent of mothers who are told their babies will probably have Down Syndrome go ahead and have said babies killed.

And CBS News is congratulating Iceland for this rousing success. It started yesterday with this triumphant sounding tweet:

That was to tease a story coming up later in the evening, and the story did not disappoint, so to speak:

With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as close to eradicating Down syndrome births as Iceland.

Since prenatal screening tests were introduced in Iceland in the early 2000s, the vast majority of women -- close to 100 percent -- who received a positive test for Down syndrome terminated their pregnancy.

While the tests are optional, the government states that all expectant mothers must be informed about availability of screening tests, which reveal the likelihood of a child being born with Down syndrome. Around 80 to 85 percent of pregnant women choose to take the prenatal screening test, according to Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik.

"CBSN: On Assignment" headed to Iceland with CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano to investigate what's factoring into the high termination rates.

Using an ultrasound, blood test and the mother's age, the test, called the Combination Test, determines whether the fetus will have a chromosome abnormality,  the most common of which results in Down syndrome. Children born with this genetic disorder have distinctive facial issues and a range of developmental issues. Many people born with Down syndrome can live full, healthy lives, with an average lifespan of around 60 years.

Other countries aren't lagging too far behind in Down syndrome termination rates. According to the most recent data available, the United States has an estimated termination rate for Down syndrome of 67 percent (1995-2011); in France it's 77 percent (2015); and Denmark, 98 percent (2015). The law in Iceland permits abortion after 16 weeks if the fetus has a deformity -- and Down syndrome is included in this category.

The language of the CBS story is absolutely ghastly from start to finish, treating this whole thing as a gigantic triumph. Only at the very end does the story hint at any moral issues with killing children because they have an imperfection, and even then it's merely one of the Iceland butchers lecturing Americans on why we shouldn't be so up in arms about it:

Quijano noted, "In America, I think some people would be confused about people calling this 'our child,' saying a prayer or saying goodbye or having a priest come in -- because to them abortion is murder."

Olafsdottir responded, "We don't look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication... preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder -- that's so black and white. Life isn't black and white. Life is grey."

Got that, Americans? Get down off your moral high horse and stop finding it strange that people bring in a priest to bless the killing of "our child." You just don't understand.

Actually we do understand. These people have decided that making their own lives easier is more important than caring for their children, so if their children are born with any sort of issue that might require the parents to accept hardship they hadn't planned on, then it's fine to kill them. And if you start struggling with the morality of all this, a helpful hospital counselor will correct your thinking:

Over at Landspitali University Hospital, Helga Sol Olafsdottir counsels women who have a pregnancy with a chromosomal abnormality. They speak to her when deciding whether to continue or end their pregnancies. Olafsdottir tells women who are wrestling with the decision or feelings of guilt: "This is your life — you have the right to choose how your life will look like."

Well then, here's the difference between Helga and us rubes in America: We believe there's more than one person's life involved. We believe that when people become parents, they subjugate their own priorities to make sure the needs of their children are met first. And that's not conditional on the care of the children being relatively smooth sailing. Sometimes it's rough. Sometimes the child gets sick. Sometimes the child is born with disadvantages. If you're not ready for that, don't conceive a child. It's a fairly easy thing not to do if you're really serious about it.

But that gets to the real issue here, doesn't it? One of the priorities of modern culture is that everyone should be allowed to have as much sex as they want, whenever they want, with whomever they want. And because sex is all mixed up with the conception of children for some dumb reason, easy fix: Kill the children if you don't want them. That way sex can simply be fun, with no unwanted consequences.

GDP growth for Obama's final year? A measly 1.6 percent

And if you're OK with having children provided the children don't inconvenience your life too much? No problem! We'll do blood tests to tell you the likelihood that the children are not to your liking, and if you prefer, we'll kill them for you.

Now, you say the comparison to the Nazis is ridiculous because they were trying to create a master race, and Iceland is just trying to eliminate a particular condition. So the line is drawn. I say in response: 1. Why do you think it's OK to kill children because they have a condition that limits them in certain ways and requires special care? 2. Even if you assumed this is an acceptable place to draw the line, which I do not, what's to stop the line from being drawn somewhere else in the future, as people become even more morally desensitized to killing children for other reasons?

This is Hitler's eugenics vision playing out right before our eyes. If you insisted on denounciation of the Nazis in Charlottesville, but you're OK with this, you're either a moron or a fraud. And if you actually understand the difference and you're still OK with it, you're a monster.

CBS pretty proud of Iceland for 'eliminating' Down Syndrome by killing everyone who has it

Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!