France has a disturbing history of diminishing the dignity of people with Down syndrome. Just a few years ago one of France’s leading physiologists, Jean-Didier Vincent, compared human beings who have Down syndrome to poison. He stated, “Why should we protect these Down syndrome people when they are just a poison in a family?”
On November 10 the Council of State (Conseil d’État), the highest court in France for administrative procedures, denied the ability to air a TV advertisement demonstrating the dignity of people with Down syndrome. This commercial correctly depicts children with Down syndrome as loving, funny, and compassionate human beings who are not defined by their disability. The court denied the commercial in 2014 and reaffirmed the denial again arguing it does not constitute a “message of general interest” and that it’s “likely to disturb women who have had recourse to a medical termination of pregnancy and thus is inappropriate for airing during commercial breaks.”
This is what France is worried about—disturbing mothers who decided to kill their child because of his disability, but not the fact that an estimated 96 percent of preborn French babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted? Sadly, even here in America an estimated 90 percent of babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are killed through abortion.
Why do we have such a negative view of Down syndrome? Why do we assume mothers cannot care for a child who may have a disability? Why do we deem a child is better off dead than alive with a disability?
Our perception of reality is severely twisted. A child is a human being with intrinsic dignity no matter what.
The only way we can change this corrupt mentality is through our own actions and words. We need to physically show the world that a person’s disability does not change the fact that he is an incredible human being with his own dignity. That’s why tomorrow—December 3—we are calling on people everywhere to perform one act of kindness to demonstrate support for people with disabilities. There are many things you can do. Be creative or visit our website for ideas.
The point is to show love and kindness for those with disabilities and to let them know they are loved and have dignity because they are God’s children. Whatever your act of kindness is, be sure to share a photo with #SeeDignity so we can show the rest of the world the dignity in human beings with disabilities.