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“I Don’t Want to be Aborted, I Want to Be Born” German girl with Down syndrome tells Chancellor Merkel

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There is a reason German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the favorite to win a fourth term. She knows how to talk her way out of a tight spot.

Here’s the scene Monday night.

Merkel was in the northern city of Lübeck, appearing on a “Meet the Voter” television program. As Alan Hall of the Express UK writes, “Chancellor Angela Merkel had effortlessly answered questions about immigration and refugees, tensions with President Erdogan of Turkey and even the soaring price of butter in the Fatherland.”

Then a young 18 year-old woman stands to address the Chancellor. Natalie Dedreux says, according to a German newspaper, The Local

“Mrs. Merkel, you are a politician. You make laws. I’m an editor at a magazine for people like me who have Down Syndrome,” Cologne-native Natalie Dedreux told the Chancellor on a live show on public broadcaster ARD.

“Nine out of ten babies with Down Syndrome in Germany aren’t born,” she continued.

“A baby with Down Syndrome can be aborted days before the birth, in what is called ‘late stage abortion.’ My colleagues and I want to know what your opinion on late stage abortion is, Mrs. Merkel. Why can babies with Down Syndrome be aborted shortly before birth?

“I don’t want to be aborted, I want to be born,” Dedreux finished, before receiving sustained applause from the audience.

Notice what Merkel’s response was not. Not that the German abortion law, which is so riddled with “health” exceptions that a baby with Down syndrome can be aborted up until the very end of a woman’s pregnancy, should be changed.

Instead, according to The Local, she told Dedreux that when she grew up in the former East Germany, there was no support for babies with disabilities. That, she said, has changed because of German unification. Moreover

Merkel argued that her party, the Christian Democrats (CDU), had fought for years to make sure that parents received compulsory consultation before they went through with an abortion.

The Local report added

She attributed the fact that so many parents opt for abortion to people being unaware of the support that is on offer to them if their child is born with a handicap.

“Everyone has so much potential and every one can do something for society,” Merkel added.

And, from Merkel’s perspective, the exchange had the perfect ending:

Dedreux responded by saying that she felt like Merkel had fought for the rights of handicapped people during her time as Chancellor, adding that she was a “big fan.”

Not only had she deflected the question, Merkel won a round of support from her questioner.

Dedreux was right from the get-go: Merkel is a politician.


Chelsea Garcia is a political writer with a special interest in international relations and social issues. Events surrounding the war in Ukraine and the war in Israel are a major focus for political journalists. But as a former local reporter, she is also interested in national politics.

Chelsea Garcia studied media, communication and political science in Texas, USA, and learned the journalistic trade during an internship at a daily newspaper. In addition to her political writing, she is pursuing a master's degree in multimedia and writing at Texas.

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