ADF International


‘Down Syndrome is becoming a death sentence’

– Side event at UN in Geneva promoting equality of people with Down Syndrome
– Increasingly widespread prenatal blood test condemned as ‘eugenic’ by human rights campaigners

GENEVA – On 20th March 2017, the eve of World Down Syndrome Day, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation, Downpride, the Permanent Representation of the Order of Malta to the UN, and ADF International hosted a side event during the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. The speakers aimed to raise awareness about the ongoing systematic targeting of babies with Down Syndrome, and stated that routine selection is a violation of international law.

‘Tomorrow, we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day. This should remind us that human rights rightly belong to all members of the human family regardless of their physical or mental condition. Sadly, in 2017 the diagnosis of Down Syndrome is becoming a death sentence. The targeting and even killing of people because they “differ” is nothing short other than eugenics. As a society we prohibit discrimination based on disability, so why do we allow it in the womb?’ said Rubén Navarro, Senior UN Counsel for ADF International, who moderated the event in Geneva.

Systematic targeting

The ‘non-invasive’ prenatal blood test supposedly gives parents a 99% indication of the Down’s status of their baby. It is being heavily promoted throughout the world. Many governments have started implementing it into public healthcare. A problematic development, given the 1968 WHO guideline criteria. They state that population wide screening is only ‘acceptable’ if a ‘treatment for patients with the disease’ is available. The Downs test does not cure anyone.

We have to go from exclusion to inclusion.

Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation and author of many publications on Down Syndrome, stressed the irony of the fact that ‘this focus on screening is happening when people with Down Syndrome are achieving more than ever before. We have to go from exclusion to inclusion. Children with Down Syndrome are the very first victims of transhumanism, and what should be the safety of every mother’s womb becomes a place of danger. A world without Down Syndrome and the elimination of empathy and humanity would be our loss, not theirs. In truth, we are not protecting their world. They are protecting ours.’

Human rights also apply to people with Downs

Kathleen Humberstone, a young woman with Down Syndrome made a strong statement when she reminded the audience that she has human rights, too: ‘I enjoy my life. I want to get married soon. My future husband is wonderful and we will move in together. I am so grateful for the support of my mother, who helped me to come and speak here at the UN.’

Her mother, who also addressed the audience, explained how much Kathleen has enriched the life of their family: ‘She is unique, just like how our other two children are also unique. She has always been a wonderful part of our family. I dare anyone currently promoting this screening to meet with adults with Down Syndrome like my daughter Kathleen. I dare them to look her in the eye and tell her straight to her face that her life is less valuable than their own,’ said Denise Humberstone.

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Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.