Sunday, November 20, 2005

Eugenics, take II

It's been a while since the heyday of European eugenics, but these days that ancient spirit is rising almost everwhere. Among the community of persons with genetic disorders, tests that allow quicker and faster abortions raise the specter of extinction ...
The Problem With an Almost-Perfect Genetic World - New York Times

.... One study of 53,000 women's choices, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology in 2002, found that the termination rate ranged from about 1 percent for conditions that were classified as having no impact on the quality of life, to 50 percent for those considered to have a serious impact.

Women were far more likely to choose abortions for disabilities that have a high probability of affecting cognitive functioning. For conditions that have little or no impact on the quality of life but might require medical or surgical therapy, the abortion rate was 16 percent, but doubled for those likely to cause mental dysfunction.

As for Down syndrome, doctors estimate that about 80 percent of women who get positive test results choose abortion...
I would expect China to pioneer in this area, I think a magazine article on eugenics in China would be absolutely fascinating.

Americans may think that the evangelical movement will stop abortion in America. Wrong. The fear of a 'defective' child will keep abortion alive and well among all Americans who can afford it. Medical abortion rates do not differ significantly between evangelical fundamentalists and secular Americans of a similar socio-economic class. That datum predicts that abortion will remain available in America (though it may not be covered by medicaid) and that the new eugenics movement will stay with us. We shall all be ubermensch one (very sad) day ...

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