Aborting children due to a Down Syndrome (confirmed or suspected) diagnosis is completely legal in the United States. And over 80 members of Congress just told the Supreme Court that they believe this is wrong.
In 2019, Arkansas attempted to pass a law banning this lethal act of discrimination and ableism, only to be blocked in court. Stomping the will of the people using the legal system is a favorite strategy of the abortion lobby, after all. Leslie Rutledge, the Attorney General in Arkansas, disagreed with the blockage and asked that the law be upheld – along with 82 pro-life Congressmen. The resulting amicus brief referred to these abortions as a ‘tool of modern-day eugenics.’ We couldn’t agree more.
“Our society has an obligation to protect the most vulnerable, including unborn children with disabilities,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, who led the brief. “Arkansas’ law seeks to protect babies with Down syndrome from modern-day eugenicists who want to end their lives, simply because of their disability.”
In January, an Eighth Circuit panel upheld a federal judge’s ruling blocking the law. Their ruling was 3-0, but two of the judges “felt bound by prior decisions that have misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s precedent,” according to the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.
“Although the Eighth Circuit ultimately ruled against Arkansas, two of the three judges agreed with Arkansas that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to discriminatory, selective abortions. These two judges asked the Supreme Court to correct its precedent,” the office wrote.
The constitutionality of abortion is, in the first place, not even settled (though our legal system acts like it is). You can read more here about how the Supreme Court invented a “right” to abortion.
Getting “Eugenics” into the Conversation
It’s a huge step in the right direction that the concept of eugenics has entered the mainstream abortion dialogue. All abortions are gravely wrong, but the ones that specifically target certain groups (by disability, race, gender, and other characteristics, all of which are completely legal under Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton) have an especially toxic edge. Planned Parenthood’s racist founder, Margaret Sanger, as well as other founding cohorts were avid supporters of eugenics – the deliberate attempt to exterminate a certain group of people.
What if the doctors are wrong?
It’s worth considering the countless times doctors have been wrong about prenatal diagnoses. Technology has obviously advanced quite a bit, but we tend to overestimate just how accurate prenatal testing and ultrasound imaging are.
For instance, a couple in Ireland aborted their baby after being told he/she had Trisomy 18, only to find out after the termination that the baby had been perfectly healthy.
Another parallel instance happened closer to home, in Oregon, though thankfully they awaited further testing before aborting their healthy child. In this story, NBC reported: “But positive results can be wrong 50 percent or more of the time. And an investigation by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting published in the Boston Globe found that “likely hundreds” of women are aborting fetuses based on this new generation of testing. One company reported a 6.2 percent abortion rate based on screening results alone — and without further testing, there is no way to know how many of those may have been due to a false positive.”
That number is highly disturbing. The Federalist wrote on this as well, noting: “That means that according to this “accurate” early testing, 54.5 percent of women who were told their child likely had Down Syndrome delivered (or would have delivered) non-DS babies, and 60 percent who were told their child probably has Edward Syndrome delivered (or would have delivered) non-ES babies.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics have weighed in on it too, here noting a case where the baby’s condition ended up being much less severe than anticipated. The data about wrong diagnoses goes on and on.
Moral of the story? We should not kill people based on their abilities – period.