Down Syndrome And Abortion: The Facts

Abortion campaigners and the media have been trying to silence people with Down Syndrome and their families this week, insisting that the shocking reality of the 90+% abortion rates for babies with the condition should not feature in the debate.

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Charlie Fien

Dr. Karen Gaffney

Mary & Conor


Mary & Conor


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 Key Facts About The Abortion Referendum

Yes Campaign admits testing will lead to abortion of babies with DS

Tony Barry, disability activist

Martin McBreen, dad to Grace

Michael O'Dowd, dad to Conor

Michael O'Dowd, dad to Conor


Get The Facts About Down Syndrome And Abortion

In Britain, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted before birth according to the National Down Syndrome Cytogenetic Register.

In DENMARK, the Danish Cytogenetic Central Register shows an average of 98% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth are aborted each year. 

In 2016, according to official figures 137 preborn babies were diagnosed the condition in Denmark. 133 children were aborted while just 4 were born. Six years previously, in 2010, of the 156 babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in utero, every single one was aborted.

This shocking and tragic reality is not brought about by chance. In a 2015 interview with Vice News, the Professor of Gynaecology and Obstetrics at the University of Copenhagen, said: "I think that Danish women are less sentimental about aborting malformed fetuses partly because that view is supported by professional medical staff. Recommending abortions isn't an obligation but we give very realistic prognoses..... We give parents realistic expectations about future problems and generally, women carrying fetuses with severe malformations are recommended to terminate the pregnancy."

In ICELAND, almost 100% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted, because the take-up for screening is very high and almost all babies then have their lives ended. According to official statistics reported in the Icelandic Parliament in the period from 2008-2012, all babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome in Iceland were aborted. Speaking to the Citizens Assembly in Dublin last year Prof Peter McParland, the director of Foetal Maternal Medicine at the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, addressed this issue saying: "In some countries there will be some that will have no Down syndrome baby. The science has got way ahead of the ethical discussion. As a society we have not reflected on what the implications are".

Some abortion campaigners have pointed out that Iceland has a small population, and the figures coming out of that country are easily misrepresented. However, the incidence of Down syndrome occurs in 1 in every 1,000 births approximately, and there are some 4,200 births in Iceland every year. Over any given four year period, you would expect some babies to be born with Down syndrome. But between 2008 and 2012 there were none. They were all aborted.

See Also: Can Down Syndrome Be Detected Before 12 Weeks?

The Irish Abortion Proposal

They are being naïve or dishonest. The Oireachtas Committee claims to have heard expert advice on the availability of abortion in other countries so they will be well aware then of the outcomes from countries like Germany.

In GERMANY, most likely given the historical context of the part eugenics played in Nazi Germany, there is no right to abort a baby on disability grounds. However, according to research, more than 90% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted in that country, with the median gestation of 15 weeks for the preborn baby. It is likely those abortions take place on ‘mental health of the mother’ grounds, just as they will in Ireland.

In 2017, an 18-year-old from Cologne, Natalie Dedreux, stunned German Chancellor Angela Merkel live on TV when she said to her: “Nine out of ten babies with Down Syndrome in Germany aren’t born. 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”.


See the letter signed by over 85 families and people with disabilities/disabilityletter


Conventional thinking of abortion and disability

Don't let this mindset and culture happen in Ireland. VOTE NO on the 25th May


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Edith Schippers, Dutch Minister for Health

Richard Dawkins, Past Prof of Oxford

More and more governments are pushing abortion for disability

Peter Singer, Prof Princeton University

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Charlie Fien

Karen Gaffney

Abortion for disability reinforces stereotypes

In Britain, 90%of babies with diagnosis of DS are aborted

Screening tests are available in Ireland at 9 weeks

The next time abortion advocates and supporters of Together for Yes try to insist that this legislation will not result in increased abortions for babies with Down Syndrome, (as has happened in every other country) listen to these interviews below. The screening test is available at 9 weeks.

Rhona Mahony on RTE Radio 1 on 9th May 2018

LISTEN: Dr. Rhona Mahony from Together for Yes on RTE explain how she already tests for Down Syndrome at 9 weeks. 1,000 times a year.

According to Dr. Mahony, "about 50% choose not to continue the pregnancy."

LISTEN: Dr. Peter Boylan admits Down Syndrome can be screened at 9 weeks.

The Yes to Abortion campaign's Dr Peter Boylan came badly unstuck on Joe Duffy yesterday when he was forced to admit that babies with a disability can be aborted under the abortion proposal. 90% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted in Britain. Don't let it happen here. #VoteNoToAbortion #SaveThe8th

LISTEN: Dr. Peter Boylan -VS- John McGuirk.

...on the shocking rates of abortion for babies with Down Syndrome.

LISTEN: Dr. Fergal Malone on LiveLine

...his language used regarding babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome causes 2 mams great distress