On Friday, the Supreme Court delayed its consideration of a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that struck down two Indiana abortion statutes. The first banned abortions that take place as a result of the child’s race, sex, or disability. The second mandates that the remains of unborn children be buried or cremated.
This decision comes hard on the heels on the failure of a Republican-controlled federal government to take any action towards limiting abortion in the United States. Even Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, escaped unscathed, maintaining their government funding.
The Seventh Circuit’s rejection is even more frustrating considering the role abortion has played in legitimizing eugenics in both the United States and Europe. Such a resurgence is most notable in the plight of people with Down Syndrome.
In Iceland, for example, every single mother with an unborn baby diagnosed with Down decided to end the pregnancy. Only two to three babies with Down are born in the country every year. The small island nation is far from alone in this regard. In Denmark, 98 percent of women choose abortion when they discover their child has Down Syndrome, and the issue is replicated at somewhat lower levels across Europe.
In the United States, a smaller number of unborn babies diagnosed with Down are aborted compared to these countries, but our numbers are still unforgivably high. The best estimates claim abortion after prenatal diagnosis has reduced the total U.S. Down population by around 30 percent, a staggering amount.
The first statute in the lawsuit would have banned this type of abortion. No longer would mothers be allowed to remove their children from the gene pool merely because they see their children as less desirable than they might have been without such a “defect.” The statute does not prohibit mothers from aborting disabled children for reasons other than their disability.
To understand why such a statute is necessary, it is important to understand what factors have led to the resurgence of eugenics in the West. Predominantly three have contributed to this tragedy. First: the legalization of abortion. The justifications for abortion provide mothers with a period of time when their unborn child is not considered human. If they decide the child is undesirable for any chosen reason, they may terminate it.
Secondly, advancements in prenatal testing have led to increasingly reliable, simple, and accurate tests. The development of the noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), for example, has made prenatal diagnoses for a variety of disorders more accurate, less intimidating for the mother, and less dangerous for the baby.
Lastly, cultural or social norms judge the desirability of the unborn based on the presence or absence of certain traits. A society must decide, or come to the conclusion, that human beings with Down Syndrome are either less desirable for parents or have a lower quality of life than if they had been born without a disorder.
These three factors blend into one morally twisted cocktail. It allows individuals the ability to identify eliminate “undesirable” babies before they can be born. Eliminating children who are judged to be undesirable because of their genes is nothing short of eugenics, which simply means “purifying” the genetic pool.
Although medical technology and cultural norms both contribute to this reincarnation of eugenics, abortion is the lynchpin upon which the entire perversion exists. Dehumanizing any group of human beings never fails to bring immoral and unfair treatment to that group. If the baby is nothing more than another organ or clump of cells, then the decision of whether the unborn fetus has a future existence worth living becomes a commonplace decision with no serious moral weight. The treatment of babies with Down has proven to be no exception.
Neither is this new iteration of eugenics limited to only unborn babies with Down Syndrome. Take, for example, how abortion has artificially created an overpopulation of men in China. Abortion is legal and, in some cases, mandated in China. Ultrasound tests allow parents to identify whether their unborn babies were desirable or undesirable, meaning male or female. The combination of China’s One Child Policy and the desirability of a male heir in Chinese culture meant that unborn women were aborted in order to produce more valuable male heirs.
The result: a massive imbalance between the ratio of men and women in China. It is predicted that by 2020, there will be 30 million more men than women in the 20- to 48-year-old age range in the country, according to The Guardian. The same article referenced above cited a study conducted by a Chinese union which found that 70 percent of construction workers claimed “emotional loneliness [was] the most painful aspect of their lives.” Imbalance between the two sexes in China has led to a massive number of single men, unable to find a romantic partner.
In short, the same three factors wiping out the Down population in the West created a massive imbalance between the two sexes in China. This behavior is by no means a fluke regarding abortion. It is a feature.
It is morally unacceptable to claim that either women or people with Down Syndrome are less valuable than men or people without Down. Our country’s founding creed says “all men are created equal.” We claim to believe all people should be provided equality of opportunity, but those who are currently judged to be inferior in some way are never even given the opportunity to be born.
Reintroducing genetic “purification” to modern society reveals the inherent problems with abortion: abortion dehumanizes the most vulnerable and pretends we can judge the unborn as unworthy of life based on arbitrary parameters. Parameters such as genetic makeup, sex, disability, or even convenience have become legitimate measures of worth in the age of abortion.
If the Supreme Court ultimately declines the case, it would be another failure on the road to ending the injustices abortion perpetuates. Again, we show our inability to protect the most vulnerable among us. These types of decisions only perpetuate what will one day be seen as the one of greatest of American injustices.
This article originally said the Supreme Court declined to consider the Seventh Circuit’s decision. Instead, the high court delayed its decision on whether it will accept the case. The article has accordingly been corrected.