Aborting a handicapped fetus-Selective-Abortion Bans Treat Disability as a Tragedy - The Atlantic

British Broadcasting Corporation Home. This article focuses on the sometimes difficult idea that abortion should be allowed where the baby would be disabled. Some ethicists don't like the argument that abortion should be allowed where the baby, if born, would suffer from physical or mental handicaps. A third argument is that allowing abortion of a foetus with a disability permits eugenic abortion - abortion to eliminate disabling genes from the human race. Section 1 1 d of the UK's Abortion Act allowed termination of a pregnancy at any time if there was a significant risk of the baby being born seriously disabled.

Aborting a handicapped fetus

Aborting a handicapped fetus

On this page Disability in the foetus Page options Print this page. Aborting a handicapped fetus Overview. While I can believe that such reasons are distasteful and problematic, I cannot use this as a reason to restrict abortion access, nor can I pass moral judgment on such motivations, indeed on any motivation, for choosing abortion. Abortimg with Saxton, disability advocate Deborah Kaplan argues that our attitudes towards prenatal testing reflect our fehus attitudes towards Sex game zip free download disabled. But opting out of some of these cookies Aborting a handicapped fetus have an effect on your browsing experience. I gave all that I could to accomplish anything positive for her recognition. Yet, as I will also argue, this was the not case when it came to Madison's proposed abortion, nor to any abortion that seeks to terminate a fetus' life under the false presumption that her disability renders her a being of questionable moral worth. Rapp's article illustrates that aborting in cases of severe disability because one is primarily concerned with the child's quality of life need not manifest any vicious character traits.

Bleach rp online. On this page

Is it 'wrong' to abort a mentally disabled fetus? With memories from my college days advocating for a woman's right to control her body echoing in my head, I said to myself, Charlie's not even born, but I can't imagine life without him. Insufficient data are currently available from Saudi Arabia on the epidemiology of the lethal congenital abnormalities which should be a priority due to high rate of consanguineous marriages among first cousins and their association with congenital anomalies. Find out more about page archiving. I think it is wrong. In contrast to factual statements, both essays are loaded with the opinions of the authors. Does this make me a selfish person? However, accepting these things does not change the fact that, other things being equal, to have Aborting a handicapped fetus disability is to be worse off than not to have that disability. Data when available will definitely augment decision makers and religious leaders provide an informed decision and allocate resources to address this matter in a scientific manner. It has been my constant experience that disability and Aborting a handicapped fetus do not necessarily go together. Are you Classic teen you want to delete this answer? Source of Support: Nil. Obstet Gynecol. Some of the children seemed happy and had personalities, some seemed more like empty vessels.

Stefan Paas slammed a letter published by a Dutch National newspaper.

  • Currently there is no prenatal genetic test for autism, the neurological developmental disorder that numerous children — 1 in 88 or even 1 in 50 — are being diagnosed with.
  • The continued debate between anti-abortion lobbyists and pro-choice activists regarding the ethics of abortion has ensured a steady stream of written opinions.
  • A podcast about pregnancy and drug use, Native people and tribal sovereignty.

The genetics and abortion issue is an extension of the abortion debate and the disability rights movement. Since the advent of forms of prenatal diagnosis , such as amniocentesis and ultrasound , it has become possible to detect the presence of congenital disorders in the fetus before birth. Specifically, disability-selective abortion is the abortion of fetuses that are found to have non-fatal mental or physical defects detected through prenatal testing.

Women who are discovered to be carrying fetuses with disabilities are often faced with the decision of whether to abort or to prepare to parent a child with disabilities. In many countries abortion is available upon request up to a certain point in the pregnancy, not taking into account why the mother wants the abortion, but in a small number of countries all abortions are prohibited, including for those pregnancies that risk the mother's life, including Vatican City, El Salvador, Chile and Malta.

Countries may also restrict abortion even if the child has a genetic defect. Countries that allow abortion if the mother is at risk but do not allow abortion if the child has a genetic defect include Iran, Ireland, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

Not all genetic markers which can be checked are for disease, leaving open the possibility that parents may choose an abortion based on personal preference rather than avoidance of disease.

In some jurisdictions, sex-selective abortion is specifically prohibited. Many pro-life activists are concerned that genetic testing will give women excuses to get abortions. It is believed that eventually genetic testing will be able to provide a wealth of knowledge on the future health of the child. Today screening for Down syndrome is offered as a routine part of prenatal care in some countries. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends offering various screening tests for Down syndrome to all pregnant women, regardless of age.

Genetic testing however, is not completely accurate but it can help to determine if further tested should be administered or if there should be concern. Testing for Down Syndrome can be conducted at different times of the pregnancy. Most women chose the first trimester choice which is done in two parts at the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy.

These tests include an ultrasound to measure a certain area on the back of the baby's neck. If there is a problem with the baby than there will be an excess of fluid in this area.

Of all women who test for Down Syndrome only 5 percent are identified as being at risk. Of those 5 percent far fewer are actually carrying children with Down Syndrome. Screening tests are actually better for testing what women are at risk compared to how many women are actually carrying children with Down Syndrome.

Statistics today conclude that 90 percent of fetuses that are diagnosed with Down syndrome via fetal genetic testing are aborted. However, only percent of women agree to completing genetic testing, CVS or amniocentesis, the current tests for chromosomal abnormalities.

When taking this into account, it is believed that approximately 50 percent of fetuses with Down Syndrome are aborted. Support for disability-selective abortions stems from arguments that those born with disabilities have a quality of life that is reduced to the extent that non-existence is preferable, and terminating the pregnancy is actually for the sake of the future child.

One such example comes from the utilitarian perspective of Peter Singer who argues that abortion of healthy fetuses is not justified, but that disability-selective abortions are justified if the total amount of happiness will be greater by doing so.

Several different arguments lie at the heart of opposition for disability-selective abortions. Those against disability-selective abortions often quote the right to life of all fetuses. Further arguments include that such abortions are based on misinformation or stereotypes about the lives of people with disabilities.

A notable pro-choice supporter who condemned disability-selective abortion was Adrienne Asch , who believed that perceived problems associated with disability were not attributable to the disability itself but an absence of social support and acceptance. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs attention from an expert in Abortion. Please add a reason or a talk parameter to this template to explain the issue with the article. WikiProject Abortion may be able to help recruit an expert.

February Further information: Abortion law. Expectations of the parenting experience and willingness to consider selective termination for Down Syndrome. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology , 24 1 , Retrieved Mayo Clinic.

Is it wrong to deliberately conceive or give birth to a child with mental retardation?. Selective Terminations and Respect for the Disabled. February 26, Retrieved March 13, Disability Studies Quarterly, 26 2. History of abortion Methods of abortion Abortion debate Abortion law. Abortion-rights movements Anti-abortion movements.

Abortion and mental health Beginning of human personhood Beginning of pregnancy controversy Abortion-breast cancer hypothesis Anti-abortion violence Abortion under communism Birth control Crisis pregnancy center Ethical aspects of abortion Eugenics Fetal rights Forced abortion Genetics and abortion Late-term abortion Legalized abortion and crime effect Libertarian perspectives on abortion Limit of viability Men's rights Minors and abortion One-child policy Paternal rights and abortion Philosophical aspects of the abortion debate Prenatal development Reproductive rights Self-induced abortion Sex-selective abortion Sidewalk counseling Societal attitudes towards abortion Toxic abortion Unsafe abortion Women's rights.

Case law Constitutional law History of abortion law Laws by country Buffer zones Conscientious objection Fetal protection Heartbeat bills Informed consent Late-term restrictions Parental involvement Spousal consent. Categories : Abortion debate Disability rights Eugenics Ethically disputed medical practices. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links Articles needing expert attention with no reason or talk parameter Articles needing expert attention from February All articles needing expert attention Abortion articles needing expert attention All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from December Namespaces Article Talk.

Views Read Edit View history. Languages Add links. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Childbirth is momentous. So it was not the spina bifida that killed Infant Doe, but parents who neglected her simply because she had Down's syndrome. Essay title: Critical Issue Analysis of Opposing Viewpoints on Aborting a Handicapped Fetus Critical Issue Analysis of Opposing Viewpoints On Aborting a Handicapped Fetus The continued debate between anti-abortion lobbyists and pro-choice activists regarding the ethics of abortion has ensured a steady stream of written opinions. For me, I would have my child even when knowing the baby is going to be disabled in some way. It is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults. The impact of consanguinity on neonatal and infant health.

Aborting a handicapped fetus

Aborting a handicapped fetus

Aborting a handicapped fetus

Aborting a handicapped fetus

Aborting a handicapped fetus. INTRODUCTION

.

BBC - Ethics - Abortion: Disability in the foetus

Although I self-identify as pro-choice, I do believe certain instances of abortion can be classified as, in Judith Jarvis Thomson's words, indecent. This paper explores one such case and uses it as a lens for a wider discussion on the moral dimensions of aborting due to fetal disability. Using virtue ethics as my foundational framework, I argue that while some cases of aborting due to fetal disability need not manifest vicious character traits, some very well may.

In particular, I am concerned with cases where fetuses that had been thus far welcomed and loved by their respective community are suddenly regarded as candidates for abortion simply because they may have been diagnosed with a disability. That is, I am worried about cases where disability is deemed sufficient grounds for dehumanizing a being who had been, up until that point, embraced.

The motivation for writing this essay came from a personal experience that occurred about four years ago. A woman I know, whom I shall call Jackie, called me in tears to let me know that her quad screen test indicated that her fetus, who had been named Madison, was at a higher risk for Down syndrome. Jackie already had one child, was also helping to raise her stepdaughter, and was the sole financial provider for a family that was already struggling.

The prospect of having to care for a child with a disability was daunting and utterly terrifying. I told her she needed to sit down and discuss the situation with her husband, and other pertinent members of her family. They needed to honestly assess their ability to care for a disabled child, and decide from there what to do about the pregnancy.

She asked me what I thought she should do, and I reiterated that no one was qualified to make this choice but her and her husband, but that, if she chose to keep the baby, I would try my best to help her every step of the way. The sobbing increased when she revealed that she had consulted with others in the hopes that they would express support if she continued the pregnancy. She wanted to keep this child, but did not think she could do so without the emotional, financial, and mental support she was going to need.

But besides her mother and me, no one had given her this support. Quite the contrary, the suggestion of abortion was proposed as the clear route to take: "You're going to abort it right"? Gifts had been bought. A name had been picked. Engraved blankets and plaques for the bedroom had been created. The fetus had, socially at least, become a person — no longer pregnancy number two, she was now baby Madison. But now, at the mere prospect of being diagnosed with Down syndrome, Madison was stripped of her ascriptive personhood and had become an abort-able, easily replaceable, fetus.

It is not so much the possibility of abortion that filled me with such indignation concerning the advice Jackie was given. As a pro-choice advocate, I believe women have a right to decide if they wish to use their body to sustain the life of a human fetus. The right to an abortion is a subset of the broader right to bodily autonomy, a right that we all possess; for no person can be forced to use their body to sustain the life of another.

Of course, like many people, I find the idea of later-term abortion troubling, to say the least, and I consequently support almost unfettered access to early abortion in order to prevent later-term ones.

Insofar as aborting a fetus because it may have a disability, the severity of the disability must be taken into account, and the effect it will have on the child's quality of life. Moreover, we must also consider the extent to which parents are able to care for a disabled child.

These two considerations will be further explored below. But what horrified and angered me was not so much that Jackie was considering an abortion, rather it was how abortion was touted as the obvious choice to make in this case; how disposable a fetus with Down syndrome had become. This is a phenomena that, according to Marsha Saxton, is quite common once a prenatal screening comes back positive for disability: "[f]etuses that are wanted are called 'babies.

Being a philosopher, in particular an ethicist, I cannot help but to try to work through my feelings and reactions through the lens of my profession. Moreover, given that I self-identify as pro-choice, I had to ask myself why I was so troubled by abortion in this particular instance. Indeed, the push to legalize abortion in twentieth century America came as a result of the thalidomide scare in the s, when several babies were born disfigured after their mothers were prescribed the drug for anti-nausea purposes.

It is the fear of disability that pushed the legalization of abortion back into the spotlight. I have spent the past ten years of my life deeply entrenched in the abortion issue. I have researched it from many possible angles: philosophical, theological, psychological, historical, medical, sociological, amongst many others.

I have forced myself to view pictures of aborted fetuses and women dead from illegal abortions. I have published articles on the issue, and have interviewed women who have obtained abortions. And there are three things that I have concluded from all these years of study: 1 prohibiting abortion including abortions for eugenic reasons will do little to curtail their occurrence, 2 women have a moral right to decide whether they will use their own body, in an incredibly invasive and intimate manner, to support the life of another human being, and 3 affirming the existence of this right in no way ends the debate about the moral dimensions of abortion choice.

Fetuses matter. They aren't globs of tissue that can be disposed without a second thought; they are nascent human lives though we can debate whether fetuses are persons, it is clear that they are living members of the species Homo sapiens. And, like in all cases where human life stands to be extinguished, we must proceed with great conscientiousness.

Because of this, it is imperative that, when women do abort, they do so with great care and concern for their own lives, the lives of others, and even the life that grows within them. This applies to all instances of abortion choice, including aborting a fetus that tests positive for a disability. They write: "[i]f reasons for the abortion were held to be relevant in determining whether or not she should be permitted one, then we could not say that she had a right to one.

Disability rights advocates, on the other hand, object to abortion on the grounds of fetal impairment because they believe it facilitates a prejudicial attitude against the disabled.

As such, "their quarrel is not with abortion per se, but with the specific case of abortion on the grounds of impairment. Therefore, according to Sharp and Earle, a fundamental tension exists between pro-choice advocates, who object to any limitation on the right to choose abortion, and disability rights advocates, who often seek to enact at least one limitation on abortion choice. If Sharp and Earle are correct, my negative reaction against the reasons Jackie was given in favor of aborting Madison is inconsistent with my pro-choice stance.

While I can believe that such reasons are distasteful and problematic, I cannot use this as a reason to restrict abortion access, nor can I pass moral judgment on such motivations, indeed on any motivation, for choosing abortion.

Sharp and Earle's argument, however, is unsuccessful. First, it is not the case that rights come without limitations. As Sharp and Earle noted, our right to free speech cannot be curtailed because someone finds what we say offensive, but it can be circumscribed in an attempt to prevent harm to others, e.

While I may have a constitutional right to bear arms, there are certain places where I cannot bring a weapon, such as in a classroom. Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, I will grant that the right to an abortion cannot be restricted on the grounds of motivation, especially since such a constraint would be impossible to successfully implement given that people can very easily lie about their motivations.

It does not follow from this, however, that I cannot pass moral judgment on how individuals choose to exercise their rights. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church are recognized for their abhorrent hate speech, protesting the funerals of fallen soldiers and victims of national tragedies with signs condemning homosexuality.

Their speech is not just distasteful, but vile and fueled by an immense hate. While they are perfectly within their rights to practice such speech, they are typically morally condemned by most individuals who encounter them.

Constitutionally protected hate speech is hate speech nonetheless, and it seems perfectly appropriate to pass moral judgment on individuals who choose to use their rights in this way. There are good and bad, virtuous and vicious, ways of exercising rights. Just because people have a right to do something does not mean that they escape moral judgment when they use that right in questionable or dubious ways.

Judith Jarvis Thomson's "A Defense of Abortion" is perhaps one of the most seminal works in abortion rights literature. In her article, she argues that, in terms of maintaining a pro-abortion-rights stance, it matters not whether the fetus is regarded as a person with rights equal to that of any extra-uterine person.

Because no person's moral or legal right to life entails that another person can be compelled to use her body as sustenance, even for life itself, the fetus cannot be given this right over the woman either. Although Thomson's argument has been met with a plethora of criticism, 7 her core thesis has been reflected in many aspects of U.

Most notably there is the case of McFall v. Shimp , where a dying man Robert McFall was denied access to his cousin's David Shimp bone marrow, even though he would die without the transplant. The Tenth Pennsylvania District Court ruled that they could not compel one human being to give his body for the sustenance of another human being because to do so would "defeat the sanctity of the individual. Yet there is one aspect of Thomson's argument that is typically overlooked.

While she spends the bulk of her essay arguing that abortions are never unjust i. While she never defines exactly what she means by an "indecent" abortion, she does give an example of what such an abortion would look like: "It would be indecent in the woman to request an abortion, and indecent in a doctor to perform it, if she is in her seventh month, and wants the abortion just to avoid the nuisance of postponing a trip abroad.

Rosalind Hurthouse develops this position in her article "Virtue Theory and Abortion. According to Hursthouse, we must ask a further, far more complex, question: are women using their abortion right well , for:. Love and friendship do not survive their parties' constantly insisting on their rights, nor do people live well when they think that getting what they have a right to is of preeminent importance; they harm others, and they harm themselves.

Hursthouse spends the rest of her article detailing the difference between a "vicious" and "virtuous" abortion. Because of her adherence to virtue ethics, this will be largely determined by whether the woman in question was manifesting virtuous or vicious character traits when coming to her decision to abort. As an example of an abortion that would betray a less-than-virtuous character, Hursthouse cites aborting for the sake of usurping one's responsibilities in exchange for " 'having a good time,' or for the pursuit of some false vision of ideals of freedom or self-realization.

Consider, for instance, a woman who has already had several children and fears that to have another will seriously affect her capacity to be a good mother to the ones she has — she does not show a lack of appreciation of the intrinsic value of being a parent by opting for abortion. Nor does a woman who has been a good mother and is approaching the age at which she may be looking forward to being a good grandmother.

Nor does a woman who discovers that her pregnancy may well kill her. Nor, necessarily, does a woman who has decided to lead a life centered around some other worthwhile activity or activities with which mother- hood would compete… Hursthouse is not arguing, therefore, that women should not have a right to an abortion. She does argue, however, that the motivations for obtaining one should be subjected to moral scrutiny.

Leslie Cannold's research, featured in her book The Abortion Myth , illustrates that there are many pro-choice women who, while ardently defending a woman's right to an abortion, nevertheless pass moral judgments concerning particular abortion decisions, and that they typically do so, like Hursthouse and Thomson, by emphasizing considerations of virtue and care. Almost all the women I interviewed saw the abortion issue as revolving around the pregnant woman's decision-making process.

An abortion decision that did not reflect a woman's "feelings" and "love" for her could-be child and other significant people in her life, and that was not motivated by care and protective concern for all those she loves, was just plain wrong.

Cannold noted that the women she interviewed were eager to move beyond the discussion of abortion qua rights and more towards a discussion of the morality of individual abortion choices. In order for a particular instance of abortion choice to count as "moral," the decision-making process had to involve prizing "responsibility, motherhood, relationship, and caring.

For pro-choice women, the feminist contention that the only requirement for an ethical abortion is that a woman freely chooses it was simply not enough… pro-choice women felt it necessary that, in her decision-making, the woman consider the fetus not as an autonomous cosmonaut but as a vulnerable and dependent creature who had the capacity to become her child… the way [the pregnant woman] thinks about pregnancy, are necessary things to know in making a moral assessment of an aborting woman's decision.

We can use virtue ethics to navigate the ethical dimensions of obtaining an abortion for reasons pertaining to fetal disability. As I will show, there are at least two instances when aborting a fetus for this reason need not manifest any vicious character or motivation. Yet, as I will also argue, this was the not case when it came to Madison's proposed abortion, nor to any abortion that seeks to terminate a fetus' life under the false presumption that her disability renders her a being of questionable moral worth.

Abortions for such reasons not only perpetuate prejudice and dehumanization against the disabled, it can also frustrate our moral growth and character. The resources to help families deal with disabled children, particularly low- income families, are paltry. Parents of disabled children will also face income reduction due to compromised working hours, which may also increase the potential of losing their job altogether and add to the difficulty of finding a replacement job.

Consequently, it was found that:. Families with disabled children were also more likely than others to report hunger, housing instability, unpaid bills, and utility shutoffs. The prospects facing a middle- to low-income family raising a disabled child parallels the bleak financial prospects facing many single mothers.

Aborting a handicapped fetus