Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Designing Children, and Tossing Out the Bloopers

A very thoughtful take (the post is several years old,) on the subject of selective abortion to weed out the less desirable among us, the seconds, the damaged goods, the flawed, the less than perfect...

(There was a lovely line on a heart-breaking episode of Call the Midwife where a young man with cerebral palsy welcomed the parents of a severely disabled infant to the institution where he lives, and points out the bonus of being situated right next to a cookie factory - "We get the broken ones.")

The blogger describes himself as "neither inflexibly nor dogmatically  pro-choice nor entirely pro-life," but on one point he is unbending - eugenics aimed at the disabled unborn tells the living disabled nothing less than that they aren't really worthy of life.

I admit, in theory, (as opposed to practice where thank you, Lord, I have never had to make any decision of that kind,) I find anything other than fully pro-life or fully pro-choice intellectually inconsistent -- anything else is drawing a line at WHERE it is acceptable for a mother to allow her unborn child's murder.

Not to lose shot a college, yes, not to lose a shot at a promotion at work no?
Cerebral palsy, yes, brown hair no?
An IQ of 80 yes, 101 no?
May deepen mother's depression, no, may give mother heart attack yes?
Because you don't want a child of rape yes, don't want a girl, no?

The writer comes at this from an interesting perspective, because his son's disability is the result of an accident, but his empathy for the handicapped at all stages of their lives is noble.
And if this is as pro-life as he is now, it's a start, and a very good one.
I believe that it is appropriate that the disability community take a clear stand on preimplantation and prenatal screening and selective abortion based upon a genetic anomaly.  I believe that the indifference of the medical profession, genetic counselors and society allows parents to choose selective abortion as if it were the right thing for the child, the family, society and the human race.  Attempts to eradicate genetic based disability is unjust, not only for the child but for society and does nothing positive but denigrate the value of humans who happen to be disabled.  I have found little value in genetic testing, at this time, unless certain conditions, like congenital heart defects, etc. can be corrected in the developing fetus in utero. Indifference reduces the disabled child to an abstraction...nothingness.  The time to effect this exponentially exploding trend is NOW!  Silence is no longer an option.  My opinion only.....

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