The Dark Side to Europe’s Happy Baby Statistics


American parents have been flooded with recent statistics revealing that European children are happier than their counterparts on the other side of the ocean. Danish babies cry less. Dutch babies are more content. Every article you read manages to cite the same factors: extensive government-funded maternity leave, a national healthcare system, and parenting that emphasizes fresh air, exercise, and good old-fashioned wooden toys. A researcher cited in one article goes so far as to observe:

It’s worth noting that Denmark regularly falls at or near the top of the “best countries to live in” lists. Wolke speculates that this may foster a population that feels good about itself, and those emotions can transfer to the baby.

In other words, if you’re looking for good vibes Denmark is obviously the place to find them. Unless, that is, you’re the expecting parent of, or an unborn child diagnosed with, Down syndrome. Then all that good will is directed toward aborting your unborn child in the pursuit of eradicating Down syndrome:

Back in 2015,  CPH Post (formerly  The Copenhagen Post), Denmark’s only English-language newspaper,  ran a piece with the headline:  “Down’s Syndrome heading for extinction in Denmark.”

This must rank as one of the most misleading headlines in history. If you didn’t know better, you would think that Denmark’s doctors had found a cure for Down’s Syndrome. Except they haven’t. What they have in fact done is not made Down’s Syndrome almost extinct, but rather people with Down’s Syndrome. The headline should have read: “People with Down’s Syndrome heading for extinction in Denmark”. Doesn’t sound quite as medical, does it, unless you mean in the Josef Mengele sense of the word!

Yet this drive to eradicate Down’s Syndrome by eradicating people with Down’s Syndrome is apparently going down rather well in Denmark. According to the article, 98 per cent of pregnant women who were revealed to be carrying an unborn child with Down’s Syndrome had him or her aborted, and 60 per cent of Danes see it as a “positive development” that there are considerably fewer Down’s Syndrome children being born. Positive development? Ridding Denmark of Down’s Syndrome by curing it might be considered a positive development. But ridding Denmark of Down’s Syndrome by killing those with the condition? That’s a positive development?

If Danish babies cry less, it’s probably because they don’t want to be genetically engineered out of existence like their counterparts with Down syndrome.