Down Syndrome

Biden vs. Bork, 1988: Democrats Smear a SCOTUS Nominee

Editor’s note: this article originally appeared in the May 1988 print edition of Crisis. It has been edited for brevity. Many people have asked me what it was like to live through the nomination and hearings of my husband, Robert Bork. I usually answer that it was like being besieged in a battle where the reinforcements [...]

Those Unlikely Saints Among Us

With the death of Jean Vanier at age 90 on May 7 we are again reminded of his blessed vocation to the disabled. It was a visit to a psychiatric hospital that led him to give up his career both as a Naval officer and as a philosophy professor to take on the challenge of [...]

Treating Embryocide With White Gloves

Pope Francis recently commented on the practice of prenatal testing to identify developmental defects in utero, which, if positive, typically results in abortion: “The murder of children. And to have a nice life, they do away with an innocent.” He recounted how he learned at school that the Spartans of ancient Greece took deformed babies up [...]

Company Hates Misery

In a recent episode of the podcast Freakonomics, Dr. Atul Gawande contrasted the adoption rate in the 1800s of two new technologies: anesthesia and antisepsis. An anesthetic gas, which could be used in surgery, was discovered and first used in Boston, and “...within two months of publishing the result that a gas could render people [...]

The Rationalizations of Down Syndrome Abortion Proponents

Last week the Washington Post featured an essay by editor Ruth Marcus titled “I would’ve aborted a fetus with Down Syndrome. Women need that right.” Marcus takes exception to the recent spate of state laws outlawing abortions chosen specifically to end the lives of children with Down Syndrome, and in doing so, reveals much about [...]

The Continuing Pro-Life Witness of Jérôme Lejeune

The headline talked of more blood as the usual suspects called for the killing of Down syndrome children not yet born. I started to feel anger, but then the image of a face came into my mind. And, as it did so, glancing at the calendar, I wondered if the headline and that image were [...]

Prenatal Testing and Abortion

 “People say, ‘The price of genetic diseases is high. If these individuals could be eliminated early on, the savings would be enormous.’ It cannot be denied that the price of these diseases is high…, [b]ut we can assign a value to that price: It is precisely what society must pay to be fully human.” — [...]

Of Honest Labels and Down Syndrome

 “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?”—Isaiah Driving home from the hospital after late clinicals recently, I stopped at a 7-Eleven for a snack. I wasn’t particularly hungry, but I wanted something to munch on to help me stay awake. Cheddar flavored Chex Mix looked tasty, so [...]

Life’s Paladin: Jérôme Lejeune

“Merci, mon professeur, for what you did for my father and my mother. Because of you, I am proud of myself.” These words, spoken by a young man with Down’s syndrome, were most fitting praise for the scientist who had discovered the genetic cause of his condition. It had long been thought to be due [...]

Gov. O’Malley’s Dereliction of Duty

Maryland governor Martin O’Malley is supposed to be a good Catholic boy. The 50 year-old Democrat and former Baltimore mayor was educated in Catholic schools and got his bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America. He appears on national political programs and states, “I’m a Catholic.” His official biography notes the name of his [...]

Down Syndrome births in U.S. increase, CDC reports

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