French Court Upholds Ban on Video of Happy Children With Down Syndrome
The court claims the video might 'disturb the conscience' of post-abortive women.
An award-winning video entitled “Dear Future Mom” featuring happy children and young adults with Down syndrome is banned from French television.
France’s Conseil d’État (State Council) rejected an appeal to lift the ban on November 10, declaring that seeing happy people with Down syndrome was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices” — in other words, women who chose to abort their unborn babies diagnosed with the genetic disorder.
In a press release, Jean-Marie Le Mene, president of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, which partnered with other organizations to produce the video and appealed the Higher Council of Audiovisual’s ban, said the court’s decision indicates that “the freedom of expression of individuals with Down syndrome must bow to the right to abortion.”
The press release, translated from French, goes on to say that “The goal of [‘Dear Future Mom’] was simply to bring a positive message about Down syndrome that nobody has the right to deny the capacity for happiness.”
The video in question, originally published in 2014 in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, begins by quoting a letter from a mother who has just discovered that her unborn son has Down syndrome. She writes, “I’m scared: what kind of life will my child have?” The rest of the video is a response to her question. Watch below.
Renate Lindeman, spokesperson for Downpride and representative of Saving Down syndrome, expressed her outrage over the State Council’s decision to uphold the ban in a column for the Huffington Post last week. Lindeman pointed out that in France, a high majority of children diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth are aborted (Lindeman and the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation cite the number as 96 percent.)
According to Lindeman, banning smiling children with Down syndrome from television means that “Women must continue to believe in the myth that society and medical professionals portray; that Down syndrome is a life of suffering, a burden to their family and society.” She continues:
Obviously, if the truth gets out that 99% of people with Down syndrome are happy with their lives, society may start to question the systematic screening and deliberate mass elimination under the pretense of health-care and women’s rights.
A mother of two children with Down syndrome, Lindeman ponders what dangers could follow media censorship:
What’s next? Will kids with Down syndrome be banned from school? Will they be segregated from society and placed in institutions like in the old days, because their presence upsets post-abortion parents?
Over three thousand people have signed a petition asking the French government to lift the ban on “Dear Future Mom.” The petition was organized by the Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment, which hopes to get five thousand signatures.
The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation will take the ban before the European Court of Human Rights, according to its press release.
Read how “Dear Future Mom” and the new Hollywood film Arrival indicate a growing mainstream respect for unborn life.