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SDD is alerting the United-Nations about the implementation of the Non Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) into public healthcare programs.

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At the United-Nations, the 14 June 2017, Stop Discriminating Down denounced the current implementation into public healthcare programs of the non-invasive prenatal genetic screening test – namely the NIPT – primarily aimed at Down syndrome.

In 2017, the Netherlands were the first country to routinely offer NIPT under basic public healthcare to all pregnant women, followed by the UK, France and Belgium.

The formal purpose of prenatal genetic testing is to facilitate so-called reproductive choice. The aim of this test is to drive couples to abort their down syndrome babies, leading to the progressive elimination of the Down syndrome community.

Yet, the expansion of government sponsored prenatal screening and abortion stands in stark contradiction to the purpose of the prenatal screening test which should be solely used to improve care and therapies for people with Down syndrome.

Making screening widely available as a public health program implies that persons with Down Syndrome do not have the same value and rights.

SDD calls on States to stop discriminating against people on the basis of their genetic predisposition.

 

SUMMARY OF THE CONFERENCE AT THE ONU : A WORLD WITHOUT DOWN SYNDROME ?

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On 20 March 2017, on the eve of World Down Syndrome Day, the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, DownPride, the permanent mission of the Order of Malta and ADF-International hosted, under the label of Stop Discriminating Down, a side event during the Human Rights Council at the Palais des Nations Unies in Geneva.
This side event focused on the mass elimination of children with Down syndrome before birth, and on the arrival of a new prenatal test.

Download Summary (PDF)

Photos – UN – 20 March 2017

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Photos from the Stop Discriminating Down conference at the UN, Geneva, 20 March 2017


		
		

photos by fabiennormand.ch

Conference at the ONU : A world without Down Syndrome ?

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On Monday 20th March, on the day before the World Down Syndrome day, a great conference entitled Stop Discriminating will be organized at the ONU in Geneva (from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm). Every one of you is invited to take part in this conference put together by the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, ADF International and the Order of Malta. Its objective is to warn the authorities in charge of human rights about eugenic abuses in countries in which children with Down Syndrome are being massively eliminated before birth. It is the case in France, where 96% of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome during pregnancy are aborted.  It has become urgent that the world realizes and reacts, especially since a new test is about to be introduced into the health systems of several countries, and will most certainly cause more eugenic abuses and increase disability intolerance. France is on the verge of publishing a new decree regarding this new test.

The scandal is international: parents and organizations for the defence of people with Down Syndrome are already organizing opposition demonstrations in several European countries such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and Holland. The various speakers of the conference will be a reflection of this diversity:

  • Peter Harteveld, a young man living with Down Syndrome (Holland)
  • Kathleen Humberstone, (United Kingdom) a young woman living with Down Syndrome
  • Clotilde Noël, Author, mother of a child living with Down Syndrome and French spokesperson for “Stop Discriminating”.
  • Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, author (France)
  • Dr Teresa Vargas, specialized in the announcement of disability by health professionals, mother of a young girl living with Down Syndrome (Spain)

The conference is open to all. To enter the ONU, registration is free but compulsory before March 14th, 11:00 pm! Register here.

If you have any questions, contact us: contact@stopdiscriminatingdown.com

SDD at the UN : Stop discriminating on the basis of genetic predisposition!

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At the United Nations on last October 4, Stop Discriminating Down has publicly raised awareness about the Dutch prenatal screening policy. In 2017, The Netherlands is the first country to routinely offer NIPT under basic public healthcare to all pregnant women.

The formal purpose of prenatal genetic testing is to facilitate so-called “reproductive choice”. Concretely, it means pushing for abortion and eliminating the Down syndrome community.

Making screening widely available and pushing for abortion as a public health program implies that babies with DS won’t have the same value and rights, that they will be rejected by the society.

To publicly offer screening tests is not the solution, to accept and help persons with DS is the solution.

The Stop Discriminating Down Campaign calls upon the Netherlands to stop discriminating against people on the basis of their genetic predisposition.

 

UNESCO reports: Systematic Prenatal Screening followed by an abortion indirectly means that certain lives are worth living, and others less

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The report of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO (IBC) on the Human Genome and Human Rights has raise awareness about the dangers of the Non Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) which aim is to detect a range of genetic conditions, microdeletions and duplications in an unborn child by analyzing the blood of the mother.

The IBC has alerted to the “ethical disadvantages” of NIPT :

  • a sign of a situation of the exclusion society gives to people affected by this illness,
  • a test presented and considered self-evident,
  • couples not fully realising that the test results may leave them with a major and possibly extremely difficult decision,
  • the risk that pregnant women with a positive result don’t await the validation of the result through invasive diagnostics, but immediately choose to abort the embryo or fetus, without of adequate counselling about the relevance of the detected abnormality,
  • women who may feel pressured to submit to such screening and might be stigmatized if they refuse to take the test.

The report highlights : [It means] indirectly that certain lives are worth living, and others less”.

Following the Netherlands and Great Britain, several countries are thinking about integrating NIPT in their public health care systems.

Stop discriminating down at the UN !

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The campaign Stop Discriminating Down which is initiated by Jerome Lejeune Foundation and DownPride has alerted the United Nations about a new prenatal genetic screening test primarily aimed at Down syndrome, namely, the Non Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT).

The NIPT can potentially detect a range of genetic chromosomal conditions in an unborn child by analysing the blood of the mother. The Netherlands, in 2017, will be the first country to routinely offer NIPT under basic public healthcare to all pregnant women.

The formal purpose of prenatal genetic testing is not health gain but to ‘facilitate reproductive choice’. The Dutch government granted a special permit to offer NIPT based on the assumption that Down syndrome is a serious foetal abnormality causing suffering which justifies ‘reproductive choice’.

Given the term ‘choice’ one would expect the woman decides for which conditions she wants to screen her pregnancy. This is not the case: a small group of ‘experts’ have singled out Down syndrome as the primary objective of the NIPT.

This unjustly stigmatizes by suggesting Down syndrome is a very serious condition that causes suffering. The number of selective abortions in the Netherlands when Down syndrome is diagnosed (between 74% and 94% during the past 23 years) does not reflect the very positive life experiences that people with Down syndrome have themselves. (American research report 99%of people with Down are happy with their lives and Dutch Research Organization TNO reports that 8 out of 10 parents, and 9 out of 10 siblings in the Netherlands say Down syndrome has enriched family life.)

The Dutch Health council said in a report that they expect that by introducing NIPT more women will choose to undergo screening.

The ethical concerns raised by Downpride a widely implemented NIPT would negatively affect the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families have been largely ignored.

The Stop Discriminating Down Campaign calls upon the Netherlands to stop discriminating against people on the basis of their genetic predisposition in a written contribution that is submitted to the United Nations under their Universal Periodic Review.

TOP DISCRIMINATING DOWN CELEBRATES WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY 2016

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Press Release, 18th March 2016

STOP DISCRIMINATING DOWN CELEBRATES WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY
Stop Discriminating Down

Sign the international petition

March 21st is World Down syndrome Day. A day to show the world the talents and power of our loved ones with Down syndrome. A day of celebration.

In 2016 however, March 21st has also become a day in which we need to acknowledge the basic right to exist of people with Down syndrome. The pharmaceutical industry is continuing to perfect its screening methods to detect Down syndrome in utero. Non invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) can identify Down syndrome in an unborn child by testing the mother’s blood, and it is spreading quickly across the world. Increasingly, governments (including France, the UK and the Netherlands) are preparing to introduce NIPT into their public healthcare programs as part of standard prenatal care.

With an ever increasing use of prenatal screening and a termination rate already higher than 90% following diagnosis, Down syndrome has become a symbol for genetic screening and selective abortion.

It is high time to ask ourselves how ‘free’ is a woman’s ‘choice’ when insurers, medical professionals and governments are aggressively promoting prenatal screening policies as a part of public healthcare? Added to this the financial incentive to the industry is tremendous. It is expected that the market value of prenatal screening will be $10.5 billion by 2020.

Offering routine screening for Down Syndrome implies that Down Syndrome is undesirable, and should be eliminated. How ‘free’ can a woman be to choose when she risks social blame if she chooses to keep her child?

Mass termination of fetuses with Down syndrome and other variations has become socially acceptable. Government backed prenatal routine screening legitimizes ‘eugenic use’ of these new tests. Pro-life and pro-choice groups, refusing to idly stand by whilst individuals with an extra chromosome ‘disappear’ from society, are getting together to form a unique and growing International movement.

The Stop Discriminating Down campaign aims to raise awareness of the threat of prenatal testing to those with Down syndrome . We also wish to ask the world community to reject prenatal screening programs that have as their purpose the elimination of people with Down syndrome.

Please visit http://stopdiscriminatingdown.com/sign-the-petition/ to show your support!

Sign the international petition

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