The Trump administration will continue to affirm the equal rights and dignity of children with Down syndrome, against “persistent myths and stigmas,” President Donald Trump declared.
The president recognized Down Syndrome Awareness Month with a statement celebrating the “lives of the more than 250,000 Americans with Down syndrome,” pledging a deeper “understanding of Down syndrome and learning more about how we can ensure the beautiful people with Down syndrome are able to fully participate in society,” and honoring the “sanctity of their lives, at every stage.”
“All people are endowed by their Creator with dignity and the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Trump said. “Despite some persistent myths and stigmas, even within the medical community, our Nation strongly embraces the undeniable truth that a Down syndrome diagnosis is an opportunity to embrace God’s gifts.”
“I stand for life – in all of its beautiful manifestations – and I, and my Administration, will continue to condemn the prejudice and discrimination that Americans with Down syndrome too often endure,” he added.
The president noted that continuing research and treatment helps more people with Down syndrome live healthier and longer lives. This work, along with “innovative speech, occupational, and physical therapies,” helps “ensure many of our youngest citizens with this condition are able to live fulfilling, independent, and productive lives.”
Down syndrome, or Trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder typically associated with physical growth delays, distinct facial traits, and often intellectual disability. Despite these challenges, a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics found that 99% of people with Down syndrome described themselves as “happy,” and only 4% of parents with Down children expressed regret about having their child.
Prominent individuals with Down syndrome, such as snow cone business owner Blake Pyron, writer John Franklin Stephens, and advocate Charlotte Fien serve as examples of their community’s dignity and potential. Yet around the world, Down syndrome is seen as a justification for aborting preborn children.
Precise data is not available in the United States, but in 2015, the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute estimated that abortion reduces the U.S. Down community by 30%. Overseas, it’s been estimated that 90% of babies in Great Britain to receive a Down syndrome diagnosis are aborted, 65% in Norway, virtually 100% in Iceland, and 95% in Spain. Irish pro-lifers fear the same trend beginning in their country now that their 8th Amendment protecting preborn babies has been repealed.
“Every day,” Trump concluded, Americans with Down syndrome “inspire us to live with great love, joy, and appreciation for our world and those who make it a truly unique and special place to live. Life is precious, and it is our moral duty to protect and defend it.”
The president delivered a similar statement last October, and has worked to advance a varied (yet imperfect and incomplete) pro-life agenda, from defunding as much of Planned Parenthood as can be done without Congress to resisting pro-abortion priorities at the United Nations.