Love, Not Eradication: What Down Syndrome Babies Deserve

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-Down SyndromeJust before I came into the studio, I was reading an article. It is a National Right to Life article by Lauren Bell. It is entitled “Babies with Down Syndrome Deserve Love, Not Eradication.”

Lauren writes that “In recent remarks to the Citizens Assembly in Ireland, Dr. Peter McParland” pointed out that “in Iceland…every single baby—100 percent of all those diagnosed with Down syndrome—are aborted.” One hundred percent. As such, “Iceland has become the first nation to boast of eradicating Down syndrome from its country.” Moreover, “Denmark follows closely behind Iceland and predicts to be a ‘Down-syndrome free’ nation in the next 10 years.” In addition to all of that, “90 percent of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb are aborted in Great Britain and the United States.”

That of course raises a very serious question. What makes a Down Syndrome baby less valuable than a proposed designer baby? The answer is this: one is not less than the other. Both are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27), and that should make all the difference in the world. The imago Dei insures that a Down Syndrome child must be afforded the very same dignity that we give to a distinguished scientist; of course, the imago Darwinii leads in quite another direction.

I wrote about this in Has God Spoken? The point being amplified by none other than the late Stephen Jay Gould, one of the most prominent Darwinian theologians on the planet. He observed that the highly regarded evolutionary notion of recapitulation — this of course is the idea that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny —served as a basis for Dr. Down labeling Down Syndrome as “Mongoloid idiocy.” Why? Because he thought it represented a throwback to the Mongolian stage in human evolution. As Gould said, the term “Mongoloid” was first applied to mentally defective people because it was then commonly believed that the Mongoloid race was, well, not yet evolved to the status of the Caucasian race. Thankfully, Stephen Jay Gould decried recapitulation’s responsibility for the racism of the post-Darwinian era. In his words, “Recapitulation provided a convenient focus for the pervasive racism of white scientists; they looked to the activities of their own children for comparison with normal, adult behavior in lower races.”

Anyway, I was reading the article, and as I was reading the article, I was just stunned to think that this is the condition we find ourselves in today, a condition in which people no longer regard the image of God in humanity as sacred. I actually took the time to watch the video (mentioned in the article). I think it was 29 minutes. It was memorable time. It was chilling to hear Dr. Peter McParland speak in clinical fashion about having Down Syndrome–free babies. As we all know statistically, the vast majority of people with Down Syndrome are happy, satisfied, and affectionate members of our society. To discriminate against them is simply chilling and unthinkable, and yet we see once again how ideas have consequences.

—Hank Hanegraaff

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Gen. 1:27 NIV).

This blog is adapted from the March 7, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.