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Teen with Down's syndrome challenges Merkel on late term abortion

13 September 2017

Natalie Dedreux: I don’t want to be aborted, I want to be born

Natalie Dedreux asked the German Chancellor why babies with Down's syndrome can be aborted up until birth.

During a live debate broadcast days before the German election on ARD, the public broadcaster, Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a tough question on the country's discriminatory abortion laws.

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Why can babies with Down's syndrome be aborted up to birth?

18 year old Natalie Dedreux from Cologne said: "Mrs Merkel, you are a politician. You make laws. I’m an editor at a magazine for people like me who have Down Syndrome. "

"Nine out of ten babies with Down Syndrome in Germany aren’t born," she continued.  "A baby with Down Syndrome can be aborted days before the birth, in what is called 'late stage abortion.' My colleagues and I want to know what your opinion on late stage abortion is, Mrs Merkel. Why can babies with Down Syndrome be aborted shortly before birth?

"I don’t want to be aborted, I want to be born," Miss Dedreux finished, before receiving sustained applause from the audience.

In a tight spot

Mrs Merkel said that she supports "a woman's right to choose" but argued that her party, the Christian Democrats, had fought for years to ensure that both parents went through a compulsory consultation before having an abortion. 

"Everyone has so much potential and every one can do something for society," Mrs Merkel added, before asking Miss Dedreux about the Cologne Caritas organisation where she works, and saying "Maybe I'll drop by."

Eugenic abortions

Abortion is legal for any reason up to 12 weeks in Germany. However, abortions are allowed later if there is a physical or mental health risk to the mother or if an unborn baby is diagnosed with a disability, such as Down's syndrome.

The high abortion rate for babies diagnosed with Down's syndrome in countries across Europe has gained attention in recent weeks, after CBSN ran a report revealing that nearly 100 per cent of babies with the condition in Iceland are aborted. The figure in the UK is around 90 per cent. 


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