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Defending life from the moment of conception

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Karen Gaffney tells Irish politicians: "My life is worth saying yes to"

30 June 2017


Karen Gaffney tells TDs and senators not to screen people with Down's syndrome out.

A leading advocate for people with Down's syndrome has urged Irish politicians to protect the lives of people with disabilities.

Karen Gaffney, an American woman famous for being the first living person with Down Syndrome to receive an honorary doctorate, spoke to TDs in Leinster House, and held a press conference outside the Dáil with Mattie Mc Grath TD, who hosted her visit.

Karen told TDs that increasingly screening was being negatively used against preborn babies with Down's Syndrome, and that this was leading to a scenario where her community might no longer exist. "Don’t screen us out, screen us in. Say 'Yes' to our lives" she said.

A number of TDs and senators thanked Karen for speaking up for those who are not being heard.

Karen Gaffney is a TED talks star, as well as a long distance swimmer who relay swam the English Channel. Tomorrow, she will be sharing her message with tens of thousands of people at the All Ireland Rally for Life in Dublin. "I believe that Down Syndrome is a life worth saying 'yes' to. It is a life worth saving. Every life has value, every life matters, regardless of how many chromosomes you have," she says.

  

Karen's presentation to the Dáil came as the Citizen's Assembly, the body convened to consider Ireland's abortion laws, published its report. One of the recommendations was that all women should have access to 20 week foetal anomaly scans. 

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