Iceland Is ‘Eradicating’ Down Syndrome – by Eradicating the People Who Have It

Iceland has nearly “eradicated” Down syndrome … by encouraging parents to test their babies in the womb and abort them if their results show a likelihood of the genetic condition.

According to a recent CBS report, just one or two babies are born with Down syndrome on average per year in Iceland, which has a population of 330,000. In the country, close to 100 percent of pregnant women who test positive for Down syndrome in prenatal screenings choose abortion.

While Iceland is ahead when it comes to “eradicating” people with Down syndrome, America isn’t too far behind. Among U.S. women, an estimated 67 percent whose test results indicate a Down syndrome child decide to abort the baby.

Glenn looked at this heartbreaking story on radio Wednesday.

“Am I supposed to say, ‘Oh, look at that beautiful child that should be dead’?” he asked of the CBS story, which featured an image of a little girl from Iceland with Down syndrome who was one of the few to survive.

Glenn talked about people with Down syndrome and all that they have to offer the world.

“Down syndrome people are the best among us,” he said. “They truly are.”

GLENN: There was a story that I saw yesterday from CBS News. And it reported that Iceland is leading the world in, quote, eradicating Down syndrome births. End quote.

There was a tweet that said that. And then it had a picture of this really beautiful child. It said, "Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion." And has this beautiful child of about four years old in the snow hat and everything else.

Am I supposed to like that? Am I supposed to say, "Oh, look at that beautiful child that should be dead?"

This is one of the -- this, to me -- and I might be alone, this to me is the biggest symbol of the doom of humanity and the doom of our society.

We're talking about Down syndrome babies and a country that has now made it so easy and so right to abort your child if your test comes back and says they'll have Down syndrome.

They have taken the most beautiful children and beautiful people that I honestly have ever met. I have met spiritual leaders, big spiritual leaders. "Uh-huh. Right. Okay. Well, I'll listen to you on the pulpit, maybe, for about five minutes. You're a fraud." And then I've met people like Billy Graham, who is absolutely the real deal. But every Down syndrome child or person that I've ever met is a spiritual giant.

Years ago, I was young and had never spent any time around Down syndrome. And really people of different abilities really at all. I had no impact in my life personally with it. And I remember I was working in New Haven, Connecticut. And the Special Olympics, the global games for Special Olympics happened in New Haven, Connecticut. And the entire town left for the week. And it was really sad. Because the media had said, "Oh, traffic is going to be horrible." So everyone went on vacation for those ten days, and it was a ghost town.

And we went and we were working a lot of the events. And I will tell you that what -- the impact that that had on my life was profound. And the impact that I walked away with immediately is, you know -- and this is in the day -- in the early '90s, when we could still use this word. And I remember thinking, "You know, the world deems these children retarded." I'm the retarded one. I'm the one whose growth has been retarded from -- from -- from greed and malice and -- and ego and the world and stuff and sexuality and whatever it is.

Down syndrome people are the best among us. They truly are. It's not some politically correct, "Oh, they're the best among us." No, they're not. Yeah, these guys are.

They will be our rulers on the other side. Because they get it. They are not afraid -- all guile has been taken from them.

And CBS reports, "Through abortion, Iceland is the first to nearly eradicate these people." Thumbs up. That is not progress. Let's call it what it is: That's eugenics. That is Margaret Sanger's most base dream: Get rid of the undesirables. Get rid of the people who can't really work for a living, don't really have any quality of life.

I'd rather have their quality of life than mine. I would so much rather go through life loving everybody I meet.

Do you ever get to a point to where you don't want to understand the world? You just don't want to understand that there's just a lot of bad people.

Don't you ever get to the point where you're just like, "I -- I don't want to be a part of that anymore?"

This is what the article says: Other aren't lagging too far behind in Down syndrome termination rates. Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion.

You're not eliminating Down syndrome. You're eliminating people. People.

You're not going in and genetically splicing something. You are eliminating people.

I'm concerned about the genetic splice. I'm a father of a daughter of special needs. Only a parent can truly understand this. A parent of special needs.

I would give my life for my daughter to have an easier life. But I would not take her life away because her life is tough. She's one of the best people I know. And she's made me such a better -- I mean, it's bad. Because I also realize, man, I've got a lot to learn. I've got a long way to go to be a good person. And it's a constant reminder to me. It's a -- she is a constant humbling of me.

Would I abort her? Never.

If I could abort the mean things that people have been -- have said to her, if I could abort the mean actions that people have shown her, if I could abort the pain that she has felt from those actions -- my daughter changed in the second grade. She had a friend who she never went over to their house. She never -- she -- we never met her friend. But it was her best friend. And she would come home and she would talk about her best friend all the time.

And one day, she came home, and she told us about how her best friend was having a birthday party. And she invited everybody. Said, "Oh, that's great, Mary. When -- when is the party?" And cheerfully, "Oh, I wasn't invited."

"What? I thought you said she invited everybody in the class."

"She did. But she didn't invite me." And she followed it up immediately with, "But that's okay. That's okay. I'm fine. I'm fine. And I'm just glad -- and I know she's going to have a great party."

I don't -- I don't think I stopped crying for two days. But I'd like that to go away? Yeah. But that has nothing to do with the way she was born. It has everything to do with the way, you know, normal people are born.

I would ask -- when I saw this story and I saw this sweet child, the bottom of a CBS tweet, with all kinds of likes underneath it, I thought, "We can go no lower." Unfortunately, we can. But not as the people we've been.

If this is the people -- this is a new chapter of humanity. And we've seen it before. It's the way the world usually is. The last 200 years have been an anomaly. The world usually is like the Game of Thrones. And we just won't be the same when we pass this door and cross its threshold.

And I would ask that you would beg for forgiveness and beg for God to heal our hearts and heal our land. Because I just don't think there's a lot left here in our corner before we turn real dark.

The good news: Everything is a choice. And I used to be a guy who was suicidal because I never thought things could change. And then I realized, everything can change the moment I decide.

The moment you decide, "I'm not going to be a part of that," the moment you decide, "Not on my watch," the moment you decide to choose love over hate, to choose hope over fear, you're going to be okay. But it has to be a conscious choice. It has to be one you have really thought about and you have spoken out loud.

An immaculate Nazi doctor hovers over newborn. He probes and sneers at it. "Take it away," he says. This is the very real process that Nazi doctors undertook during the era of Nazi Germany: Nazi eugenics, the studious, sterile search to find children who would define a pure breed for the German lineage. The Übermensch.

RELATED: Glenn responds to advocates of aborting Down syndrome babies: 'No better than Nazi Germans'

During a speech to a delegation of Italy's Family Association in Rome on Saturday, Pope Francis referred to this cruel Nazi practice, which he used as a comparison to the increasingly popular process throughout Europe of "ending" birth defects, by offering abortions to women who have babies with chromosomal defects.

Here are two passages from the Pope's remarks:

I have heard that it's fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let's send it away.

And:

I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.

When CNN got the quote, and it shocked them so much that they had to verify the quote with the Vatican—in other words, it didn't fit the usual narrative.

It didn't fit the usual narrative.

The Pope also addressed claims that he has dedicated himself to LGBTQ causes:

Today, it is hard to say this, we speak of "diversified" families: different types of families. It is true that the word "family" is an analogical word, because we speak of the "family" of stars, family" of trees, "family" of animals ... it is an analogical word. But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one. A man and woman can be non-believers: but if they love each other and unite in marriage, they are in the image of God even if they don't believe.

The media have largely seen Pope Francis as the cool Pope, as the Obama of Catholicism. It'll be interesting to see how abruptly and severely that perspective changes.

The themes of healing and redemption appear throughout the Bible.

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. — 1 Corinthians 15:43
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. — Mark 2:17.

So, for many Christians, it's no surprise to hear that people of faith live longer lives.

Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise. — Jeremiah 17:14.

But it is certainly lovely to hear, and a recent study by a doctoral student at Ohio State University is just one more example of empirical evidence confirming the healing benefits of faith and religious belief.

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Moreover, the study finds that religious belief can lengthen a person's life.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22
Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! — Isaiah 38:16

The study analyzed over 1,000 obituaries nationwide and found that people of faith lived longer than people who were not religious. Laura Wallace, lead author of the study, noted that "religious affiliation had nearly as strong an effect on longevity as gender does, which is a matter of years of life."

The study notes that, "people whose obits mentioned a religious affiliation lived an average of 5.64 years longer than those whose obits did not, which shrunk to 3.82 years after gender and marital status were considered."

And He called to Him His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. — Matthew 10:1

"The researchers found that part of the reason for the boost in longevity came from the fact that many religiously affiliated people also volunteered and belonged to social organizations, which previous research has linked to living longer. The study provides persuasive evidence that there is a relationship between religious participation and how long a person lives," said Baldwin Way, co-author of the study and associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

In addition, the study showed how the effects of religion on longevity might depend in part on the personality and average religiosity of the cities where people live, Way said.

Prayer is good medicine, and faith is a good protector.

And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. — Luke 5:17
Heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come near to you. — Luke 10:9

In early June, the Social Security and Medicare trustees released their annual report on the fiscal health of these programs, and the situation looks dire. Medicare is scheduled to run out of money in 2026 (three years sooner than anticipated), while Social Security is expected to run out in 2034. The rising national debt is only one of the well-known financial struggles the millennial generation faces. The burdens of student loan debt, high housing prices (thanks to zoning restrictions), stagnant wage growth, the rising cost of healthcare and lingering aftershocks of the Great Recession are among the biggest sources of economic anxiety millennials feel.

Progressive politicians have been very successful at courting the youth vote, partly because they actually promote policy ideas that address many of these concerns. As unrealistic or counterproductive as Senator Bernie Sanders' proposals for single-payer health care or a $15 an hour minimum wage might be, they feel in theory like they would provide the economic stability and prosperity millennials want.

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Republicans, on the other hand, have struggled to craft a message to address these concerns. Fiscal conservatives recognize, correctly, that the burden of the $20 trillion national debt and over $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities will fall on millennials. Some conservatives have even written books about that fact. But the need to reform entitlements hasn't exactly caught millennials' attention. Pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson, in her book The Selfie Vote, notes that millennials generally view protecting the safety net as more important than reducing the deficit.

Clearly, Republicans have a problem. They need to craft solutions that address the millennial generation's struggles, but they can't seem to sell entitlement reform, their biggest policy preference that addresses those problems. The Republican approach to wooing millennials on policy is failing because talking about stopping the debt from reaching an unsustainable level is long-term and abstract, and offers few immediate tangible benefits. A new approach to both pave the way for entitlement reform and give millennials an immediate financial boost is to first reform not entitlement spending, but the payroll tax: specifically, by partially (or wholly) replacing it with a value-added tax.

Under the current Social Security model, workers pay for the benefits of current retirees through the payroll tax. This system creates the illusion of a pension program, in which what you put in is what you get out, but in reality Social Security is a universal safety net program for the elderly paid for by taxes. The payroll tax falls on workers and is a tax on labor, while the value-added tax (VAT) is a tax on consumption imposed at every part of the production process. Assuming that this policy change is revenue-neutral, switching to a VAT will shift the responsibility for funding Social Security and Medicare away from workers, disproportionately poorer and younger, and onto everyone participating in the economy as a whole. Furthermore, uncoupling Social Security funding from payroll taxes would pave the way for fiscal reforms to transform the program from a universal benefit program to one geared specifically to eliminating old-age poverty, such as means-testing benefits for high-income beneficiaries, indexing benefits to prices rather than wages or changing the retirement age.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences.

Switching from the payroll tax to the VAT would address both conservative and liberal tax policy preferences. As the Tax Policy Center notes, the change would actually make the tax system more progressive. The current payroll tax is regressive, meaning that people with lower incomes tend to pay a higher effective tax rate than people with higher incomes. On the other hand, the value-added tax is much closer to proportional than the payroll tax, meaning that each income group pays closer to the same effective tax rate.

For Republicans, such a change would fit conservative economic ideas about the long-run causes of economic growth. A value-added tax has a much broader base than the payroll tax, and therefore would allow for much lower marginal tax rates, and lower marginal tax rates mean smaller disincentives to economic activity. According to the Tax Foundation's analysis of a value-added tax, the VAT would be a more economically efficient revenue source than most other taxes currently in the tax code.

Not only would replacing part or all of the payroll tax provide an immediate benefit to millennial taxpayers, it would also open the door for the much-needed entitlement reforms that have been so politically elusive. Furthermore, it would make the tax code both more pro-growth and less regressive. In order to even begin to address the entitlement crisis, win millennial support and stimulate the economy in a fiscally responsible manner, Republicans must propose moving from the payroll tax to the VAT.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate. His writing has appeared in Townhall and The Federalist. He is a federal policy intern at the Tax Foundation. Opinions expressed here are his only and not the views of the Tax Foundation. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Glenn was joined by Alanna Sarabia from "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios on Thursday for an exclusive look at Mercury Museum's new "Rights & Responsibilities" exhibit. Open through Father's Day, the temporary museum features artifacts from pop culture, America's founding, World Ward II and more, focusing on the rights and responsibilities America's citizens.

Get tickets and more information here.

Watch as Glenn gives a sneak peek at some of the unique artifacts on display below.

History at the Mercury Museum

Alanna Sarabia interviews Glenn Beck for "Good Morning Texas" at Mercury Studios.