Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Something to ponder: discrimination in utero

Apparently, some people deem abortion of an embryo with disabilities a form of "discrimination against people with disabilities". And they even equate it with abortion based on gender.

In fact, one state has a new law defending the rights of "pre-born children with disabilities."

I kid you not. My source is this article ("One state protects unborn children with disabilities") first published a week ago. Here's a brief extract:
Thanks to a recent dismissal of the case against the Prenatal Non-Discrimination Act (PRENDA) in North Dakota, that State is now the first to have a law in place defending pre-born children with disabilities. Along with a ban on sex selective abortion, the North Dakota PRENDA law is the first of its kind to offer protection to children diagnosed with Down Syndrome and other genetic abnormalities. Policy experts from FRC were front and center during the hearings debating the bill this past spring. Joined by some of our colleagues in other groups FRC presented scientific, legal, and human rights arguments in support of the legislation. Abortion is a particularly grievous threat to pre-born children diagnosed with genetic abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. According to published studies, a staggering 92% of pre-born children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. This statistic is unacceptable. In the new law and after birth a person is legally protected from discrimination based on gender and disability. This standard reflects and upholds the high values we hold dear — that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights.
Now for my two cents.

I don't consider abortions of children with severe and fatal syndromes to be "discrimination" in any sense of the word. In fact, I think it's dishonest to use that politically-correct term in a context where it makes no sense. When an embryo is undoubtedly doomed to an early and painful death (via Tay Sachs Disease for instance) "equal rights" just isn't a factor.  

And to compare such an abortion to the frivolous gender-selective sort is just ridiculous. 

Mentioning Down Syndrome as the single specific example of disability is also disingenuous. Most of the serious syndromes that would prompt abortions are in another league of severity. 

I know that in my book, children with Down Syndrome don't even rate as "with disabilities" (Look how far I've come: having a Down baby used to be my greatest nightmare.)

All this leads us to the inevitable question: if we had known before birth of our children's future disabilities would we have aborted them? 

I don't think I could possibly have envisioned  before her birth the depth of disability that afflicts C. But fantasizing that I could have, I'm pretty sure I would have aborted. And I don't think anybody can accuse me of discriminating against people with disabilities.

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