If you haven’t reviewed the numbers from my last post, please go back and do so now. Even if you read them before, I encourage you to go back and refresh your memory.
The numbers are simply terrifying.
To speak somewhat loosely, many times people speak about the obstacles that people with disabilities have to overcome, but it seems like being born is a remarkable achievement in and of itself.
The challenge then is what we do about this. As a pro-life Christian, I have no problem saying that this is horrible. Because of a baseline belief that all lives have value including those in the womb, it is easy for me to affirm that unborn children with disabilities deserve protection against prenatal, lethal discrimination.
There are really two ways to try and handle this problem.
On one hand, they have the option to say that women should be able to get any type of abortion they choose. If they want to abort a child because she has a genetic predisposition to have red hair, then they should be free to do that. After all, the fetus is only a part of the mother’s body and therefore entirely subject to her choice. In that case, she shouldn’t have to justify her reason to anyone; it is her right to make whatever decision seems right to her at the time.
However, pro-choice advocates are reluctant to say this outright because in order to do that, they have to honestly look at the information I presented in my last post and say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that scenario. If parents feel like they don’t want to raise a child with a disability, they should be free to remove that undesirable fetus.
Societies have tried discriminating and removing people with disabilities before however, and they even made a name for it.
Eugenics was popular approximately 100 years ago especially in the United States as a way to try to produce a genetically superior race (and was promoted by many prominent people including Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood). At this time in history, there obviously were not prenatal diagnoses, but the end goal and the intent were the same. Convenience was still king. Certain traits were deemed undesirable for various reasons and needed to be removed just as children with certain genetic characteristics are aborted at drastically higher rates. Individuals with disabilities for example were sterilized simply so that they would not reproduce and pass on traits that were not seen as beneficial by the scientific elite.
Why did eugenics fall out of fashion?
A certain evil dictator decided that it would be a good idea to develop an Aryan race that would be superior to all others. Even though this practice had been going on in the United States for decades before, people finally were awakened out of their slumber by the atrocities in Nazi Germany. They saw what happened when certain people were seen as disposable. They saw what happened when the genetic traits were used to determine whether someone should live or die.
As I have said so many times, ideas have consequences. If the right to abort any child for any reason is the ultimate right, then why is it unethical to try to weed out specific genetic traits? Why not go ahead without moral inhibitions and engineer humanity?
That is the moral dilemma for the pro-choice advocate. There is no reason to stand in opposition to any of these things if the individual choice is the ultimate right. Why should anything like discrimination matter? It is secondary by definition.
Thankfully, most pro-choice advocates don’t hold this position, and they do have another option to avoid the dilemma as I mentioned above. That is what we are going to look at on Friday.