Abortion should be allowed for fetal deformity.
- Fetal Deformity: “…if life is a human good, even a defective life is better than no life at all-some value is better than no value.”
- Martin Ginsberg, New York State Assemblyman and polio victim, in a 1969 legislative debate on a proposed bill permitting abortion for fetal abnormalities, stated: “What this bill says is that those who are malformed or abnormal have no reason to be a part of our society. If we are prepared to say that a life should not come into this world malformed or abnormal, then tomorrow we should be prepared to say that a life already in this world which becomes malformed or abnormal should not be permitted to live.”
- Allowing a fetal deformity exception for abortion is an extension of the utilitarian, quality-of-life ethic. In other words, some lives are not worth living. Even if this were true, who should have the right to say which individuals are not worthy of life or to justify the intervention of direct killing? Certainly not those doing-and profiting from-such killing!
- Allowing abortion for “defects” turns genetic screening into a “search and destroy mission.” This is a purely eugenic application of human technology.
- Genetic screening is not 100% accurate. Furthermore, genetic screening sets up a “test” for all prospective newborns: you must meet our criteria and pass our “test” to escape the threat of termination. If you fail the test, whether or not you are spared is dependent upon our (mother, father and doctor) discretion.
- Whose interests does abortion for fetal defects serve? To say it serves the interests of the preborn is absurd. Many individuals in our nation were “defective” before birth. Yet they live and prosper in society despite their impairments. Clearly, it was in their interest to be born and experience life.
- Abortion for eugenics may serve the interests of others, but motives here may well be selfish and cannot justify taking innocent human life.
- A society may benefit financially by removing some future “burdens” and their associated expenses via abortion, yet this puts a monetary value on human life (when young Jessica McClure was trapped in a well in Texas, no one said, “Let’s give up. It’s costing too much money; the girl’s life is not worth it.”) Additionally, the benefits, financial and otherwise, that the impaired child may return to society are not known and thus not even considered.
Finally, society’s true interests would not be served, even if a policy of aborting the handicapped was proven to be monetarily “cost-effective” and adopted along with the necessary utilitarian ethic: the costs in terms of human suffering, moral decay and devaluing human life are inestimable, and would clearly proscribe its application.