Editor’s note. This first appeared at http://cause-of-our-joy.blogspot.com and is reprinted with permission.
My friends at the Lejeune Foundation in France are calling for all those who oppose the eugenic abortion of babies with trisomy 21 and live in France to sign a petition opposing this practice. France already has an abortion rate of 96% once Down syndrome is detected through pre-natal testing, universal testing would be catastrophic to this population and to human rights in general, setting off a possible chain reaction throughout Europe. Below is a translation of the original letter from the Foundation Lejeune.
On May 25 and 26 of this year, the National Assembly [the lower house in the French Parliament] will resume its debates and votes concerning the proposed bioethics law.
If the deputies follow the recommendations of the Senate and the Special Committee on Bioethics, the pendulum will swing, in the next few days, and France will implement a policy of eugenics with regard to infants with Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome.
Because all of us are vulnerable and called to show solidarity with those who are a little more so, we cannot accept this or let it happen.
Please act today by signing the petition that we will send to the legislators and by sending this message to everyone on your e-mail address list.
We thank every one of you for your irreplaceable support of this petition drive.
The Staff of the Jéérôôme Lejeune Foundation
WHY A PETITION AGAINST EUGENICS?
Because the legislators in both Houses of the French Parliament are currently debating the contents of the forthcoming bioethics law and are preparing to legalize systematic screening for Trisomy 21.
Because 96% of the babies diagnosed before birth as having Trisomy 21 are eliminated, some of them as late as the ninth month of pregnancy. Instead of expanding this search-and-destroy mission aimed at infants with Trisomy 21, we should instead take advantage of the future bioethics law to put a stop to the current trends!
Because obliging the doctor to propose prenatal diagnosis to all expectant mothers would lead us from a de facto situation of eugenics to a legal system of eugenics that completely contradicts the Civil Code (art. 16-4).
Because infants with Trisomy 21, like all of us, want to live, to love and to be loved.
Because the degree to which a society is civilized is measured by its ability to protect its weakest members.
Because all of us are vulnerable and called to show solidarity with those who are a little more so.
Because, with technological advances, it will very soon be possible to detect many other disorders or predispositions to diseases. The logic of search-and-destroy will be extended to an ever-increasing number of babies.
Because by choosing to eliminate the sick instead of trying to cure their illnesses, science and medicine abandon their purpose and deny themselves.
The purpose of this petition is to denounce the eugenicist ideology informing the bioethics law, which is clearly expressed by its intention to screen systematically for Trisomy 21, and to challenge our legislators concerning the blatant contradiction between the Civil Code and current eugenics practices.
If your share our concern and our willingness to fight for greater respect for the lives of the most vulnerable, then sign this petition, which we will forward to the members of Parliament and to the French government.
Life is the most important political issue for Man: the members of Parliament, like the future candidates for the Presidency of the French Republic, cannot ignore this. They must recognize the determination of the French electorate on this subject [and also realize that people of good will in other countries will be watching carefully how they deal with this latest threat to fundamental human rights].