Pro-life minority faces major challenge in ‘most godless country’ in Europe.
My family has spent a lot of time at Landspítali, the major hospital in the capital of Iceland.
For over a year, our five-year-old son has been undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. Our youngest son, born this April, also spent two months at the hospital as doctors ran tests on him, finding a genetic mutation in his X chromosome that only two other people in the world have been diagnosed with.
Every day, as I walked into the intensive care unit at the hospital, I looked over a wall of pictures of young children and teenagers holding up photos of themselves as premature babies. They had been born after as little as 21 or 22 weeks of pregnancy. It was a monument to the lives that were saved.
Meanwhile, the cultural conversation in the rest of Iceland seemed so distant from what I saw in the hospital. There were talks of new legislation pushing to make abortion available as late as the 22nd week of pregnancy. And this month, the issue of abortion in Iceland took the internet by storm, with a CBS News report on how the country (population 340,000) is on the verge of eliminating Down syndrome.
What sounded like an impressive medical achievement was quickly revealed to be a spin on our heartbreaking reality. Only two to three children a year are born with Down syndrome since nearly 100 percent of mothers whose tests show a high likelihood of the condition end up choosing abortion.
Those of us who value life in the womb see Iceland is not eliminating Down syndrome, but terminating babies who have it (or could have it) before they are even born.
The Icelandic media, taking up the CBS story, have even shifted to use new language around abortion. They use a term suggested by a government think tank—Þungunarrof, which …