(CNSNews.com) – France’s Conseil d'État (State Council) banned the award-winning “Dear Future Mom” video from airing on French television due to concerns that the expressions of happy children with Down syndrome in the video were “inappropriate” because they were "likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.”
The Council rejected the Jerome Lejeune Foundation’s request last week to lift the ban.
“Dear Future Mom” was produced by the Italian Down Syndrome Advocacy organization CoorDown for World Down Syndrome Day in 2014. The video features smiling children and young adults with Down syndrome from different countries reassuring a worried pregnant woman that her child can be happy.
The Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment has started a petition on Change.org, saying, “The Global Alliance for Disability in Media and Entertainment (GADIM) as an international disability and media organization acting within a framework of human rights and with the support of the video’s creators CoorDown (Italy), respectfully asks the French government intervene to lift the ban.”
“No other country has taken the position of France,” the petition pointed out, “and in fact the video has received acceptance and acclaim worldwide, has attracted significant media coverage and an outstanding 7.2 million views on youtube alone and has received multiple international awards including 6 Cannes Lions at the prestigious Cannes Festival of Creativity in France.”
They add that “the discriminatory ban of the video sends the message that people with Down syndrome are unwelcome in society and has impacted the Down syndrome community around the world who have seen it as a rejection of the effort to challenge negative stereotypes and societal prejudices and to assert the equal and inherent value of the lives of people with Down syndrome.”
Renate Lindeman, a mother of two children with Down syndrome and a disability rights advocate with Downpride, wrote that the problem she has with the French video ban “is that I have three kids; two happen to have Down syndrome. What’s next? Will kids with Down syndrome be banned from school? Will they be segregated from society and placed in institutions like in the old days, because their presence upsets post-abortion parents?”
“See this ban is akin to putting people with Down syndrome away because their presence ‘confronts’ society with the reality of their systematic eradication,” she added. “Eradication not to ‘prevent suffering’, but because authorities have decided that their differences place a burden on our lives and society. A burden that we refuse to carry collectively.
“I have a much better idea,” she concluded, “let’s not ban the video but make it compulsory for every couple considering a selective abortion for Down syndrome. Let’s show them the truth that families with Down syndrome have an enormous good quality of life.”