Anywhere between 67 and 89 percent of women who learn their baby will have Down syndrome choose to abort the child, per IJR.
One photographer is committed to changing that statistic.
This is beautiful.
Check it out:
One of the people shocked by the statistics is Icelandic photographer and artist Sigga Ella. Ella’s aunt was born with Down syndrome and, after learning the shocking statistics from her homeland on elective abortions for Down babies, the artist began to worry about the moral justifications of the extermination of this entire population of people. The artist says on her website:
The aim with prenatal diagnosis is to detect birth defects such as Down syndrome and more. Where are we headed? Will people choose not to keep an embryo if they know it has Down syndrome? I had a lovely aunt with Down syndrome, aunt Begga. It is very difficult for me to think about the elimination of Down syndrome and her at the same time.”
Ella was compelled to humanize this group of people with a photo project she calls, “First and foremost I am.” The collection features 21 photos of Down individuals of all ages and is described by Ella thusly:
The series consists of 21 portraits of people who all have Down syndrome and the reason for that number is because the trisomy of the 21st chromosome causes Down syndrome. She chose to photograph people of all ages and both genders and wanted to show that each of these individuals is a person like anyone else and should not be judged by one extra chromosome. The backdrop is colorful and happy and relates to the diversity and colorfulness of the human race. It shows us that all kinds of flowers can grow and flourish together, and we should also cherish the diversity of humans. “First and foremost I am” is an eyeopener for the beauty and diversity of mankind and makes us wonder if the future without this diversity is desirable.
And the photos are incredible.