Engaging Culture

France Bans Media Campaign Celebrating Children with Down Syndrome

Starting in 2014, the Jerome Lejeune Foundation in France, produced a short, two and a half minute film called “Dear Future Mom.” It was created in response to a pregnant mom who just discovered her unborn child had Down syndrome. She asked “I’m scared: what kind of life will my child have?” The short film is a powerful set of interviews of children with Down, and a compelling argument for life. Here’s the film:

However, as you can imagine, in a culture where it’s encouraged to abort children with the syndrome, the criticism began. Weekly Standard reports that in most countries of the world where prenatal testing is possible, 80% of Down children are aborted, and in some countries it’s 90%. In France, it’s 96%.

And so after three French national TV networks began broadcasting the film, the French version of the FCC made a ruling prohibiting it from the airwaves. The reason?  “It was “inappropriate” because the children’s testimonies were “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”

The foundation has already lost an appeal in France, and is now trying to get a hearing at the European Court of Human Rights.  I’ve written before about the media strategy of Planned Parenthood here in the United States.  And if you ever question the power and influence of the abortion industry globally, look no further than France.

The Weekly Standard responded to the news this way: “The cult of “choice” will brook no provocation.”

I’d love to know if you think the campaign should be banned…

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  1. When human life is regarded as less than the image of its creator, it becomes the servant of others’ whim. Anything that might jog the conscience and suggest otherwise is (at minimum) inconvenient.

  2. Phil – we have a grandson with Downs and he is the most delightful member of our family. He is about to turn 3 and while he is not talking, he fully understands everything and is loved by us all. I loved the French video re Future Mum but didn’t realise how French society treated Downs children.

    1. Thanks Martin. Pray for us. It’s not always easy to be believers in Jesus and to defend values in France, my country. Eric Célérier, Paris. P.S. : Thanks Phil

  3. Guilt and shame are horrible consequences of sin. That inner voice that screams we have erred. Without Christ that voice may never go away so they claim it is not a child and now censor others that support life for the unborn. All of this is an attempt to remove their guilt.

  4. Geesh Phil. Thanks for making me cry… 🙂

    This actually hits fairly close to home as my wife’s cousin, pregnant with their 4th, found out the baby will likely be Downs. She and her husband are devout Catholics so they will be keeping the baby. At this point for them it’s heart-breaking, but they understand the truth that this video relates…that this baby will ultimately bring just as much joy to their life as their “normal” children.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Jason
      When our grandson was born and diagnosed with Downs, I remember a great quote from a Downs parent. “You’ve already had the worst news. It can now only get better.”
      We’ve discovered the truth of that.

  5. This hits so close to home because I have a 14-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. I was diagnosed prenatally and encouraged to ‘terminate the pregnancy.’ Our belief in God and life stopped us from following the geneticist’s recommendation.

    I don’t think the campaign should be banned because their is a TON of misinformation out there about raising a child with special needs. While it is very hard and a lot of work, I’ve learned about God from my daughter then I have from any pastor or theologian. Denying viewers this information about taking care of children with Down syndrome is criminal and perpetuates a culture of death.

  6. I have a 13-year old, non-verbal, autistic son. On the most difficult days I ponder if he’d be better off in his eternal body in Heaven than in his condition now. But, consider abortion? Never! The vehemence of the pro-abortion movement reminds me of what Jesus foretold about last days society in Matthew 24:12, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Especially a parent having no love for their unborn baby.

  7. Phil – On a related note, the recent BBC documentary A World Without Down’s Syndrome was an extraordinary piece of work, pro-life by default. It caused quite a stir in the UK. I strongly recommend checking it out if you can.

  8. Thanks for posting this! I am actually shocked but probably shouldn’t be. I have a 19 year daughter with Down Syndrome who loves God and people and is a joy to our family and EVERY one she meets. She is a vital part of our church family at The Rock – Anaheim. There is a lot of misinformation out there. When I had Sarah I did not know in advance but once she was born the information was bleak and it has not been at all bleak! Different yes, bleak no.

    1. So no of course I don’t think it should be banned, but also for reasons beyond the Down Syndrome issue.

  9. France has worked very hard over the past several decades to be considered a ‘secular’ nation. What a shame. When a nation successfully indoctrinates its majority to embrace the secular/humanist mindset, there remains no expectation, no glory beyond the here and now. When the best that a nation can expect is what highly fallible humanity can generate, hope dissipates in a mist of self-dissolutionment.

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