In September, Arguing Eugenics was noted a Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest 2014 Finalist. Here’s a snippet:
Fortunately, there are new easy to administer prenatal blood tests enabling doctors to diagnose with some certainty an unborn child with Down syndrome at only 10 weeks. This way the doctor knows to monitor the growing fetus so that appropriate pediatric specialists are on hand at the birth if there appears to be a risk. It also empowers the parents to prepare accordingly.
Stephen Quake, a professor of bioengineering and applied physics at Stanford and a developer of one of the new tests, was quoted in the New York Times Magazine: “It’s a gross oversimplification to assume that these tests are going to lead to the wholesale elimination of Down syndrome births.” He may believe this, but if the study published by the Guttmacher Institute holds true, of “happily” pregnant women, “three-quarters would think about undergoing the procedure (abortion) if they knew that their infant would be affected by a chromosomal abnormality.” As of October of 2011, when the new prenatal blood tests became available in certain US markets, the abortion rate of American women with an unborn child diagnosed as possibly having Down syndrome was 92%.
But for now, women choose to receive the prenatal tests. Many of them perhaps made their decision about abortion even before the results are known. Accordingly, as testing spreads across the populous, becomes standard for women of all ages and is issued regardless of predetermined risk factors, many more women will find out at only ten weeks into pregnancy, that her child may have Down syndrome. At that point, even a 75 percent abortion rate facilitates the US to quickly follow the trend applauded by the professor from Denmark, creating communities that are “Down syndrome free.”
France also embraces this reality. In France the abortion rate of prenatally diagnosed children with Down syndrome is 96 percent. French “Prenatal screening is becoming more and more systematic,” as stated on the website European Center for Law and Justice. In fact the French parliament has pursued mandating prenatal screening for trisomy 21. The ECLJ website even quotes one woman, Anita Krüzmane, who calls the birth of her a daughter “a survival of the eugenic procedure of ‘screening-elimination.’”
So yes, it may be an oversimplification to think that a simple blood test is leading to the elimination of the births of people with Down syndrome. Unfortunately, it also appears to be a fact. It is a fact not only because of scientific breakthroughs or any specific country’s legal processes; it is a fact because parents are afraid of having a child with Down syndrome.
This essay is a combination of passion and research. Do not be misled, there are many people like myself who are Pro-Information. If you are also Pro-Information, please take this opportunity to share this essay. I’m going to make it extra easy on you – this weekend, From Friday Oct 10 to Monday Oct 13, the essay is FREE. FREE! If you don’t have a Kindle, there is a free Kindle app, easily installed on your computer or phone.
UK Friends, Your Link is Here:
Australia Friends, Your Link is Here.
By the way – I actually found this out from an online friend, FROM AUSTRALIA, who pointed out I need international links. So, I’m not just showing off. Well, I am showing off, but it’s valid.