"All babies with Downs Syndrome in England are aborted." Seriously

So because I’m spectacular I was donating* plasma yesterday and I overhead one of the phlebotomists talking with another donor and they (the phlebomost) was saying that there aren’t any infants in Great Britain with Downs Syndrome because they are all aborted. This sounded nicely batshit crazy,so naturally because I am spectacular I was intrigued and joined in. I’m not going to go word by word, because seriously? Apparently this has even been codified into law and there was a case where a couple was pregnant, okay the couple wasn’t pregnant, the chick was, and they knew that it would have Downes Syndrome so they came to the US and had the kid and then Great Britain refused to let them back into the country.

So, is this even remotely true?

*Okay, maybe ‘donate’ isn’t the best word because I get $60 out of it.

It’s not true. A similar claim was made recently during the Irish abortion legalization debate, that 90% of fetuses with Down Syndrome were aborted, and The Journal looked into it:

It found a report from 2010 that said that 90% of fetuses which had been diagnosed with Down Syndrome in prenatal testing were aborted, but only about 64% of Down Syndrome diagnoses are made prenatally.

“Chick” is not your best strategy for getting responses to your question.

This probably originates in the Save the 8th campaign in Ireland, which had the goal of preserving the 8th amendment to the Irish constitution. This amendment said:

This effectively prohibited abortion.

The Save the 8th campaign ran a series of ads in which it pointed out that 90% of Down’s syndrome pregnancies in the UK are terminated (you can read about it here). The claim is basically correct (as long as one only considers pre-natal diagnoses of Down’s syndrome), although the language used in the ads was biased. This isn’t because of any law requiring that Down’s syndrome pregnancies be aborted, but because a large proportion of parents in the UK choose abortion in this case.

One bit of evidence is the existence of the Down’s Syndrome Association in the UK. This association wouldn’t exist if there were no one with Down’s syndrome in that country.

As for British parents not being allowed back in the country with a Down’s syndrome newborn. . . This claim is so ridiculous that it’s hardly worthy of comment. Down’s syndrome is not illegal in the UK. It’s not illegal anywhere. The UK is not Nazi Germany.

Thanks for not contributing anything even remotely relating to the question I asked. You really made my day.

Aww look, it’s a bird who doesn’t understand sports sports, how ADORABLE!

“Chick” is not a strategy for ANYTHING.

The Four Corners offense? That is a strategy.

“Chick” is a common way to refer to women.

Thanks for contributing nothing with your sexism, which as I pointed out in a relevant way, detracts from your post.

It certainly is, but perhaps not in the way you think.

Anyway, to the OP. Screening for Downs and other syndromes is freely offered to pregnant women in the UK. Not all want the tests, and not all who get higher risk results opt to abort.

The going to the US story is just absurd.

Which wasn’t worth much attention to begin with.

Down Syndrome. Not “Downs” or “Downes.”

There are no countries with no Down syndrome births (well, except maybe Vatican City). The closest is Iceland (which has a population of 330,000). It has one or two Down syndrome births per year:

Moderator Warning

Shut Up Lutz!, this is a warning for being a jerk and trolling. If you are going to continue to post here, you need to change your behavior.

A word of advice. This is an adult site. I will point out that in addition to the use of “chick” in a serious question about abortion, and referring to another poster as a “bird,” saying that “I am spectacular” is not the way to be taken seriously in General Questions (or on this site in general).

General Questions Moderator

Moderator Note

“Chick” is considered derogatory and offensive by many women, more in some cultures than in others. The word “chick” to refer to a woman comes from the British slang term “bird” (a bird in British slang is a woman, so a chick is a young woman). In British culture, many women will take offense at both words these days. In the southern U.S. the term is perhaps not as offensive. See for example the “Dixie Chicks”, which isn’t considered offensive in the south, though elsewhere some folks will take offense at both “Dixie” and “chicks”.

We have had a long-term problem with misogyny and misogynistic terms here on the SDMB, so you can expect many of our users here to take offense if you use terms like chick, babe, or doll (depending on context, of course). While “bird” isn’t in common use in the U.S., you could expect some of our U.K. users to take offense at that term.

It’s probably best to avoid terms like this if you do not wish to accidentally cause offense.

That is enough said on that subject. Let’s focus on the actual topic of the OP for the rest of this thread, please.

It may be outwith the T&Cs, but the plain and simple answer to what the OP heard is that it’s bollocks.

PS: If anyone wants to know what the law provides for, see https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1967/87

The only “must” in it relates to ensuring that abortion may only happen in approved NHS premises, not hole-and-corner private operations. I can’t be bothered to track down all the immigration rules to prove a negative, but of course it would impossible to refuse to readmit a citizen to the country.

And we don’t pay people for blood and plasma donations, either.

That would usually carry the connotation that it’s a long way from the truth, which applies to the part about not letting parents back into the U.K., sure. But based on the sources cited in the second post in the thread, around 90% of prenatal diagnoses are aborted. So that’s not far off the principal claim - it’s accurate to say that almost all known cases of Down Syndrome are aborted.

The OP asserts he was told there are (virtually) no DS infants in the UK because they’re aborted. Given that undiagnosed cases aren’t aborted, so those infants are born, itself means the story he heard was bollocks.

The headline of the thread is not far from the truth, and needs to be qualified only by stating that around one third of cases are not diagnosed prenatally; and obviously you can’t act on information you don’t have. So I don’t agree that calling the GQ “plain and simple…bollocks” is a fair assessment at all. The subsidiary claims are wrong, of course.

That is a little misleading, that 1/3 who choose not to take the test- which is offered free at routine appointments- are effectively deciding then that they would not abort a fetus with Down syndrome. It seems unsurprising that a high proportion of those who take a test with the sole purpose of diagnosing the syndrome at an early enough stage to legally opt for abortion then choose to do so when the test is positive.

My point was the clear implication that abortion is some sort of norm imposed by law, or at least societal pressure, and that there are no children born with Down’s or other conditions considered handicaps. That is much more misreprentative an exaggeration as anything I said.