The New York Times carries an article today titled "Prenatal Test Puts Down Syndrome in Hard Focus".
It reports how in US, families rising kids with Down syndrome are campaigning against a new, widely usable prenatal test that can be used to screen for it. 90% percent of pregnancies where the fetus is diagnosed with Down get aborted. Some parents are worried that as population of people affected with Down syndrome dwindles, the care programs for them will also disappear.
But they are also worried about a much more serious problem than that. The practice is well within the area of eugenics, trying to draw a line between eliminating a genetic condition undesired by the would-be parents versus lessening the diversity of the human race. The genetic condition can be viewed as undesired since Down syndrome results in having somewhat weaker physical features, being slightly mentally challenged, and having shorter life expectancy (49 years average), but most of these individuals are still able to live fully enjoyable lives in a loving family, even if they're placing a bigger burden on their parents, and parents who actually raise such kids and therefore have first-hand experience believe how Down is not a sufficient reason to deny those kids existence. I tend to sympathise with this point of view. From the article:
Sarah Itoh, a self-described “almost-eleven-and-a-half,” betrayed no trace of nervousness as she told a roomful of genetic counselors and obstetricians about herself one recent afternoon. She likes to read, she said. Math used to be hard, but it is getting easier. She plays clarinet in her school band. She is a junior girl scout and an aunt, and she likes to organize, so her room is very clean. Last year, she won three medals in the Special Olympics.
“I am so lucky I get to do so many things,” she concluded. “I just want you to know, even though I have Down syndrome, it is O.K.”