Author- Maria Santana
Iceland is known for its breathtaking scenery. But the dark side of Iceland has been covered somewhat by the Western mainstream media recently regarding their practice of eugenics. The Icelandic government is providing parents with the choice of terminating pregnancies of fetuses that have been afflicted with down syndrome.
Many Icelandic women opt to undergo prenatal testing for genetic diseases. If it is discovered that the fetus has the Down Syndrome trait, the pregnancy can be terminated off of that. Most of the babies that are discovered to have Down Syndrome have to be aborted since only one or two are documented as being born annually. A country with a population of approximately 330,000 as documented by the World Bank.
In Iceland 85% of women undergo prenatal genetic testing. According to the CBS special report on Icelandic eugenics, women also have ultrasounds, and blood drawn before considering aborting the fetus. Expecting mothers at the age of 35 or older are at a higher risk of having a fetus with Down Syndrome which is why it is encouraged to have children before that age.
It can be argued that these pregnant women, with or without consent of their partner, that a special needs life is not worthy. Perhaps it is the will of the parent to not want to raise a life afflicted with Down Syndrome. These fetal terminations in the eyes of pro choice advocates can be seen as sacrificial. The baby born with Down Syndrome will be spared of living a difficult life although sometimes there is evidence that suggests that some of those who have it can live a normal life.
Eugenics is nothing new and it is an old and continued practice across the globe. One of the first things that come to mind is eugenics as mentioned in Nazi Germany. Nazi scientists sterilized the handicapped and disabled Aryan people. People with undesirable genetic traits would even be aborted as well.
Today there is even such a thing as designer babies where parents can select the geno and phenotype of the fetus. Even fetuses today can have three parents.
This article is not to impose my moral views on abortion or eugenics but to raise questions. In the Western world people are terminating fetal lives because of convenience and/or other reasons. From the looks of it, Iceland is trying to have a perfect, designer population free of Down Syndrome and whatever else their government deems not aesthetic. But what happens when the birth rate in Iceland continues to plummet not just because of abortion? The country will have to continue its pro immigration policy to sustain its labor force.