Politics & Policy

An Abortion-Friendly Firm in Spain Uses a Girl with Down Syndrome on Its Ads

We argue all the time in this country about the abortion rate for unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome. Is it 75 percent? Or closer to 90? Some believe that just by asking the question, we send the message to the pregnant woman that keeping her baby with Down syndrome is a radical act that will set her outside the mainstream. Myself, I think the truth will set us free.

In Spain, no one argues about the abortion rate for babies with Down syndrome. Everyone knows what it is: 95 percent. It’s a full-scale genocide.

Like all genocides, Spain’s effort to eradicate trisomy 21 (the medical term for Down syndrome) has required the quiet acquiescence of the population. Last year, conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy dropped his effort to roll back the country’s liberal abortion laws after the measure provoked a “wave of hostility” — from Rajoy’s own ruling People’s party. 

Spain, like the rest of Western Europe, has made gentle peace with the idea of abortion on demand for any reason, including — or perhaps especially — a diagnosis of Down syndrome. This was on naked display this week in Madrid, where Genoma, a Swiss biotechnology company, debuted a building-sized banner advertisement for its latest “non-invasive” prenatal test for Down syndrome. The name of the test — “Tranquility,” could it get any creepier? — stretches out in broad letters above the soft-focus photo of a young girl with Down syndrome.

Genoma adJust let me pause to emphasize the absurdity of this in all its depravity: This company selling a product that 95 percent of the time leads to the abortion of a child with Down syndrome has decided to pitch that product with . . . a picture of a child with Down syndrome.

Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?

This company selling a product that 95 percent of the time leads to the abortion of a child with Down syndrome has decided to pitch that product with . . . a picture of a child with Down syndrome.

To complete this near-satanic act of indecency, the company used the child’s photo without the consent of her parents. Advocates on Spanish Twitter blasted Genoma, which ultimately took the ad down and offered an apology.

As biotechnology companies usually do, they insisted that their goal was merely to help expectant mothers prepare for life with a child with Down syndrome. As is also common among abortion-enabling biotechnology companies, they completely ignored that very few such mothers exist in Spain.

And yet, for those of us who fight every day for the right of our children simply to be born, there is something oddly useful about Genoma’s stupidity. Preventing abortion requires touching the heart, and nothing touches the human heart like the sweet smile of an innocent child.

Arguing among ourselves about the abortion rate for children with Down syndrome probably hasn’t saved a single baby’s life. Maybe by flying this banner, Genoma is engaged in a brilliant false-flag operation to put an adorable human face on the tragedy of abortion?

Unfortunately, I doubt Genoma’s geniuses are sharp enough to blunt Occam’s razor. The better explanation is that the gross idiocy of using the child’s photograph never occurred to them, that a combination of profit-seeking and moral blindness has hardened their hearts to the reality that the product they are selling is death. 

And business is good.

Fortunately, the quest to eliminate Down syndrome from the population faces resistance. Many strong families around the world — some of whom I’ve been privileged to meet over the past decade — have worked tirelessly on behalf of life. Countless saints walk among us. Sadly, as the Genoma billboard proves, so do soulless monsters. 

If only we could develop a non-invasive blood test for that. 

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