British pop star Leona Lewis was the entertainment at Thursday’s Global Down Syndrome Foundation gala in Washington.
Lauretta Brown at CNSNews.com asked Lewis how she felt about the finding that 90 percent or more of unborn babies diagnosed having Down syndrome are aborted. Both Lewis and CNN anchor Kyra Phillips couldn't believe that idea. (Videos below)
Lewis said, “I think that’s so sad. I think that’s incredibly, incredibly sad and, yeah, it hurts my heart a bit.”
CNN anchor Kyra Phillips was there and holding a son of one of her CNN colleagues. a photographer. "You know what? Here’s what I say to that, is that if you meet a child with Down syndrome, you realize their potential. You realize how smart they are – look at Keegan here! How loving they are. How energetic, inspiring they are. They are beautiful human beings, and that’s why I’m here tonight."
Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director and co-founder of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, mentioned the high percentage Down Syndrome abortions in recounting her own experience after getting a prenatal diagnosis of Downs.
"The genetic counselor came in and gave me a tissue and said, `Don't cry, Mrs. Whitten. You know, 80 to 90% of people terminate and you can too.' And that was my genetic counseling," Whitten said in her opening remarks at the Gala.
"The feeling of discrimination emanating from the medical professionals in that office, the inaccurate information they gave me (the life span of a person with Down syndrome was not 3 but 55 [years]) and then learning about the lack of funding for medical care and research for Down Syndrome, set me and my family on a path towards establishing the Global Down Syndrome Foundation," said Whitten.
For the opposite of Lewis and Phillips, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting House member from D.C., refused to offer any judgment or criticism of the vast majority of potential parents who terminate and denounced the question as "inappropriate" about a difficult decision: