How could France censor a pro-life video message of people with Down Syndrome talking about how much they love life and love their mothers?
Our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), has just filed a legal application with the European Court of Human Rights to challenge this absurd ruling.
Originally broadcast on World Down Syndrome Day in 2014, the video Dear Future Mom addresses a strong and comforting message to pregnant women who are expecting a Down syndrome child and are worried about their possible future. In the video, people with Down Syndrome of all ages express, in moving terms, their capacity for happiness, their abilities, and their love for their parents. This expression was not considered to be of "general interest" by the French television regulatory authority, which censored its broadcasting in France.
We filed the application on May 9th, arguing that France’s decision violates Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which guarantees freedom of expression, in addition to violating Article 14 which guarantees freedom from discrimination based on one’s genome. By forbidding the video to appear on television, the French regulatory agency went against its commitments to stand up for and protect vulnerable citizens.
It sends one undeniable message to people with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities: their visibility and existence poses a problem to society.
This is dangerous. This is evil.
Months after she was born, it became clear that Mary was special – different from normal babies. While the diagnoses, tests, and many in the world would assess that Mary is ‘mildly to moderately retarded,’ ‘developmentally delayed/disabled,’ or ‘slower than normal kids,’ it is clear to anyone who encounters Mary that she was a gift from God, placed on earth to teach us all the true definition of unconditional love.
Although Mary doesn’t have Down Syndrome, many of her closest friends do. Others, including Mary, have similar genetic abnormalities that cause developmental delays. . . .
Mary is the perfect example of this. Though not being academically “smart,” she’s more insightful and emotionally intuitive than most people I know. Though Mary may never discover a world-changing innovation, she is never forgotten by all who encounter her. Mary has a zest for life rooted in her ability to appreciate every person and opportunity that comes her way, and her inability to focus on tedious, superfluous details. She reminds us all of the childlike faith we once had.
Mary and her friends have always loved Mother’s Day. I remember picking her up from school on Fridays before Mother’s Day, and seeing her and all of her friends eagerly showing off the cards, treats, and presents they made to show their moms how much they loved her.
I remember how much fun I had with Mary planting flowers for our mom on Sunday afternoons after church on Mother’s Days growing up.
But the forces who don’t want to value every single human life as made in the image of God can’t live with themselves if they have to see and listen to the lives in this video above. And the French government allows, supports, and enables that deadly censorship.
It’s heartbreaking. It’s infuriating. And it’s never been more important for us to fight back by defending the human dignity in every single life and every single smile. But that’s not enough. We also have to live our lives supporting these miraculous people with disabilities and their families.
Remember that as you celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend.
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