- The Iona Institute - https://ionainstitute.ie -

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 [1]

More Irish opting for eugenic abortion [2]

In practice most people are as pro-eugenics as Richard Dawkins [3]

How the 8th amendment saved hundreds of babies with Down Syndrome [4]

What Dr Peter McParland told the Citizens’ Assembly [5]


The history

Mother and Baby Homes report highlights how eugenics targeted unmarried mothers [6]

How eugenics took a hold of social democratic Denmark [7]

How science was used to victimise unmarried mothers [8]

The abortion movement and its root to eugenics [9]


A world without Down Syndrome

How social disapproval of Down Syndrome affects my child [10]

Down Syndrome: a response to Fintan O’Toole [11]

Official figures badly underestimate number of Down Syndrome abortions [12]

Screening for defective children reaches a new level of sophistication [13]

Big money to be made from pre-natal testing [14]