Misconception Monday: Birth Defects and Down Syndrome

  • Ryan Phillips
  • 12/20/2020

Misconception: Abortion is okay if the baby will have birth defects or Down Syndrome.

Justifying abortions because the baby may have Down Syndrome or other birth defects is wrong for many reasons—and it leads down a slippery slope of devaluing virtually any human life for any reason.

First of all, human life has inherent value. Every person who ever lives experiences various challenges and difficulties, but this adversity does not mean life is not worth living. On the contrary, learning how to deal with challenges and overcome adversity can bring some of life’s richest blessings. Raising a child with a disability certainly comes with challenges, but, as any parent can attest, parenthood is always fraught with challenges, whether they be physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise. If a life can be thrown away because a child has a physical disability that is taxing on the parent, the same logic could be used to deprive life to children who may be irritable or defiant. 

If a life with disabilities is not worth living, what terrible message does this send to those with disabilities who are already born? Does the same logic apply once the child is outside the womb? If not, whey then does it apply within the womb? This eugenic type of justification is only a small step away from aborting babies based on gender or other physical characteristics deemed unworthy. The Nazis used this same reasoning to kill those they deemed “less worthy” because of physical or mental challenges. It is estimated that as many as 250,000 disabled people may have been murdered by the Nazi regime.

Certainly an association with the Third Reich is not something the abortion industry would be proud of, but, with a business model based on justifications for ending innocent human lives, there is no limit to the level of depravity to which they can descend. 

Obviously those with Down Syndrome or other physical challenges would not deem their own lives to be worthless. In fact, many studies show that they overwhelmingly report having loving, meaningful lives. The same can also be said for their parents. A major 2011 study showed that 99% of parents of down syndrome children love them, and 97% are proud of them. And of course, if a parent simply is not up to the task, there are always many wonderful options for adoption to loving families who would welcome the child with open arms and hearts. 


Here at Pro-Life Utah, we do everything we can to empower women to choose life. If you would like to contribute to the cause, please consider making a donation. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, please take a look at our free resources we have for you.

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