A record of how eugenics has taken hold in Ireland

Eugenics is a philosophy that decides who is ‘fit’ to live and who is not. In the past, it could be State-imposed and coercive. Today, it is much more likely to be chosen by parents who screen their babies in the womb for disabilities like Down Syndrome and then frequently opt for abortion when such a diagnosis is given. Ireland is by no mean immune to this. The Iona Institute has been researching the rise of eugenics in Ireland and elsewhere over the years and writing about it regularly through our blog. Below, we present a selection of those writings. What it catalogues is chilling. We look at the history of eugenics, and in particular the progressive elimination of children with Down Syndrome from our societies. This should prompt national soul-searching but has not done so to date. Nonetheless, it must be recorded, and this is what we do here.



Screening out Down Syndrome shows true nature of modern Ireland

More Irish opting for eugenic abortion

In practice most people are as pro-eugenics as Richard Dawkins

How the 8th amendment saved hundreds of babies with Down Syndrome

What Dr Peter McParland told the Citizens’ Assembly


The history

Mother and Baby Homes report highlights how eugenics targeted unmarried mothers

How eugenics took a hold of social democratic Denmark

How science was used to victimise unmarried mothers

The abortion movement and its root to eugenics


A world without Down Syndrome

How social disapproval of Down Syndrome affects my child

Down Syndrome: a response to Fintan O’Toole

Official figures badly underestimate number of Down Syndrome abortions

Screening for defective children reaches a new level of sophistication

Big money to be made from pre-natal testing