Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet called on all persons of goodwill to recognize the inherent rights and dignity of all men and women on the occasion of “World Down Syndrome Day,” March 21, 2012.
“I applaud Down Syndrome International (DSi) and its partners for all their hard work in fighting for the dignity of persons with Down syndrome through organizing this event and through successfully lobbying the United Nations to formally recognize this day,” said Fr. Boquet. “No matter the condition or state of health, every human being is sacred and deserves the right to life.”
Fr. Boquet also called on the medical community to take seriously the pledge in the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm” by offering assistance to parents expecting a child with Down syndrome, instead of urging them to terminate the pregnancy.
“The unfortunate result of prenatal testing for Down syndrome is that in 90 percent or more of cases in the U.S., mothers choose to deny life to their child. A number of mothers have also come forward saying their doctors actually encouraged them to abort their child because of a Down syndrome diagnosis. This direct targeting of children with Down syndrome for abortions is like a Nazi eugenics project, and must be stopped,” said Fr. Boquet.
“These prenatal tests are not 100 percent accurate, but out of fear, societal pressure to have a ‘normal’ child or any number of other reasons, an alarming number of children diagnosed with Down syndrome are not with us to experience the joy of life today,” said Fr. Boquet. “We must take the opportunity of World Down Syndrome Day to promote human dignity and human life, but we should also pray for the souls of those denied life simply because they may have been born different.”
HLI offered a special intention for the souls of those children aborted after being diagnosed with Down syndrome during a Mass celebrated at its world headquarters in Virginia in recognition of World Down Syndrome Day. Mass attendees prayed for the intercession of Blessed Margaret of Castello, patroness of the pro-life movement.
To learn more about World Down Syndrome Day, visit http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/.