A day is coming when we will eliminate Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and all other forms of birth defects. It won’t happen because we discover some miracle cure in the Amazon. We will just kill them before they are even born.
I got thinking about this a lot last year when I listened to an episode of the Freakonomic’s podcast on “population planning.” The bulk of the podcast was dedicated to explaining the unlikely origins of China’s one child policy. This alone makes the podcast worth a listen but it was a short story tacked on at the end that really disturbed me. Here is its synopsis from Freakonomic dot com:
Finally, we talk to Stanford researcher Stephen Quake about a new blood test that can help pregnant women learn if their babies are likely to be born with Down Syndrome. This leads to yet another moral dilemma in baby-making: as parents can learn more and more about what’s in the womb, what kind of decisions will they make? And what will the consequences be decades later?
The answer to those last two questions should be obvious to anyone. What kind of decisions will they make if they find out their baby has down syndrome? They will abort their child. And what will the consequences be decades later? We will eliminate the world of down syndrome and all other birth defects. The West hates the weak, sick, and elderly. Quake’s test will help us move a little closer to ridding us of these troublesome barriers to pleasure.
Do you doubt it? I hope not. It is already happening. Check out this story about a “wrongful birth” lawsuit in Oregon:
On the June 2007 day their daughter was born, Ariel and Deborah Levy were overcome with excitement, then shock when hospital staff told them their daughter looked like she had Down syndrome.
A doctor asked Deborah Levy if she’d had a prenatal test — a chorionic villus sampling, or CVS for short — and Levy said yes, the results showed they’d have a normal, healthy child.
Within days of her birth, however, a blood test confirmed that the little girl, Kalanit, had Down syndrome.
The Levys filed suit against Legacy Health, claiming that Deborah Levy would have aborted her pregnancy had she known her daughter had the chromosomal abnormality.The lawsuit blames Legacy’s Center for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in North Portland and a Legacy lab for allegedly botching the test. The Levys — who dearly love their daughter, now 4 — want Legacy to pay for the extra life-time costs of caring for her.
This is just the beginning of our brave new world where only quality of life matters. And we Christians are spending all our time buying and selling bracelets to stop Kony’s brutality. Such hypocrisy knows no end.