Paris Marchers Confront 'Right' to Eugenics

President of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation Talks About Sunday’s Protest

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By Anita Bourdin

PARIS, JAN. 23, 2012 ( Pro-lifers in Paris on Sunday admit that the environment they are facing in France is a worrisome one.

Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, participated in the March for Life.

He spoke with ZENIT about how the battle for the culture of life is faring on the France front.

ZENIT: Why take part in the 2012 March for Life?

Le Méné: The 2012 political events in France give me the occasion to speak about respect for life. The situation has become worse after the revision of the 2011 bioethics law.

The marchers can follow different ways. We, of the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation, also march for life, and for some time now, in the footsteps of Professor Jérôme Lejeune, [who discovered the gene that causes Down Syndrome], whose name we are proud to bear and whose work we are proud to follow. If I have agreed to speak, it is because the situation is worrying. As opposed to what is thought, the June 2011 bioethics law accentuates offenses to life, primarily on two counts.

ZENIT: What is the most worrying element?

Le Méné: For the first time, the law obliges all doctors to give pregnant women information on a prenatal diagnosis of Trisomy 21, allowing abortion at any time.

Before the 2011 law, doctors already did this, with the consequence that 96% of trisomy babies were aborted. In the course of the debates, a parliamentarian asked why 4% still remained. Since then, the coupling of this practice with a legal obligation has made us pass from eugenics in fact to eugenics by right!

General practitioners — not only obstetricians — find themselves now on the front line and must give an account to the law of the efforts they’ve made not to have «undesirable» babies born.

ZENIT: Hence, trisomy babies are victims of a new form of eugenics?

Le Méné: One must be aware of the unheard of character of this generalized prenatal analysis for trisomy 21, for which there is no demand on the part of the [patient] population. There is no a priori risk, no prevention and no benefit for the one concerned, given that the baby is aborted in the majority of cases. This total or partial destruction of a group, selected by its genome, is the execution of a concerted plan marked by a eugenic policy that has nothing to do with medicine.

ZENIT: Are there other worrying elements that should alert public opinion?

Le Méné: The bioethics law is also characterized by aggravated contempt for the human being in the embryonic state. Although research with human embryos is prohibited, the 2011 law has notably extended the exceptions to this principle. The cannibalization of embryos to appropriate their stem cells is always unjustifiable.

Moreover, it is «uselessly immoral,» given that no therapeutic progress has been achieved from these works. Today the human embryo serves to economize on animals in pharmaceutical laboratories.

ZENIT: But your own commitment continues?

Le Méné: The Jérôme Lejeune Foundation spares no efforts to promote a clinical medicine that respects its patients, even if belittled in the eyes of the world. We invest in scientific research that will always be at the service of man and of humanity.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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