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The Jerome Lejeune Foundation, USA Joins Advocacy Organizations Worldwide to Say: Down Syndrome - So What!
Date:3/20/2013

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) March 20, 2013

The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, USA is proud to join with disability advocacy associations from 11 nations (Spain, Portugal, Croatia, the United-Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Poland, Latvia France, Russia, and New Zealand) in an international campaign to say together:

Down Syndrome… so what!

This week, on March 21st the 2nd official United Nations World Down Syndrome Day will be celebrated across the world. This event aims to raise public awareness about Down syndrome and promote the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome in our communities.

With advanced methods of prenatal screening available now in the U.S., and soon coming to other countries, World Down Syndrome Day takes on a singular and urgent dimension. The expanded use of early (10 week) non-invasive prenatal tests for Down syndrome threatens to increase the already staggering number of terminations of pregnancies which are prenatally diagnosed. The expanded availability of these new maternal blood tests will almost certainly cause increased terminations, further stigmatization, and rejection of these valuable members of our communities.

Most countries still lack comprehensive health policies to ensure that families who receive an unexpected prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are provided with accurate information about positive therapeutic developments and outcomes for those living with Down syndrome. Additionally, efforts undertaken to facilitate integration of persons living with Down syndrome into educational systems and work places remains insufficient.

Parents, first and foremost, need to be provided with a positive and welcoming message when receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. As a society, we should support these families and enco
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