France Decides to Protect Women from Their Conscience

On today’s podcast, Greg discusses an article by George Will about a French court’s decision to uphold the banning of an ad created to take away the fear mothers have of having a baby with Down syndrome, and hopefully persuade them not to kill their child in the womb.

Down syndrome, although not common, is among the most common congenital anomalies at 49.7 per 100,000 births. In approximately 90 percent of instances when prenatal genetic testing reveals Down syndrome, the baby is aborted….

In 2014, in conjunction with World Down Syndrome Day (March 21), the Global Down Syndrome Foundation prepared a two-minute video titled “Dear Future Mom” to assuage the anxieties of pregnant women who have learned that they are carrying a Down syndrome baby. More than 7 million people have seen the video online in which one such woman says, “I’m scared: What kind of life will my child have?” Down syndrome children from many nations tell the woman that her child will hug, speak, go to school, tell you he loves you and “can be happy, just like I am—and you’ll be happy, too.”

The French state is not happy about this. The court has ruled that the video is—wait for it—“inappropriate” for French television. The court upheld a ruling in which the French Broadcasting Council had banned the video as a commercial. The court said the video’s depiction of happy Down syndrome children was “likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”

I’ve been struggling to think of what kind of commentary I need add to that. It’s nakedly obvious that if something is disturbing people’s consciences, it might be an indication that something wrong has been done. Labeling that “likely-to-disturb-the-conscience” action a relativistic “personal life choice” is a poor attempt to cover up the previous admission that there is indeed a moral dimension to this action—a “disturbing” one, in fact.

The court’s statement doesn’t just equate legality with morality (a common mistake in an age of relativism); it actually places legality above morality by first recognizing the disturbed reaction of the conscience (i.e., the moral dimension of the act), and then purposely hiding the moral fact (i.e., that killing a child with Down syndrome is wrong) from people because, after all, the action is legal. They’re intentionally suppressing knowledge of the morality in order to maintain the legality, and that is a very dangerous way to run a country.

I’ll stick with the time-honored tradition of pressing the morality to change the legality.

You can read the rest of George Will’s article here and watch “Dear Future Mom” below. If your conscience is disturbed by it, please share its moral truth with others before they make the same mistake, and praise God for the unbelievably merciful grace He offers you in love.

Amy K. Hall

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