Much as I wish eugenics ideals were only favored by the now-openly-Nazi political right in America, that’s not the case. Abortion rights proponents are often quick to cite fetal disability as a strong reason to keep abortion legal. While I support unrestricted abortion access without requiring a reason, this special exempting for disability makes me uncomfortable. Fetal disabilities vary from incompatibility with life to conditions which are not fatal at all.
Since the introduction of prenatal testing for Down Syndrome, a non fatal chromosomal disability, the abortion rate for positive test results has grown steadily higher. It is now estimated over 90% of positive test results lead to abortion. Of those which don’t, only some of the resulting children have a form of trisynomy. False positives occur, but at a rate which I could not find reliable citation for.
Research funding for an autism “cure” has predictably been shunted to genetic testing, and scientists are closing in on identifying which genes are “risk factors” for the neurology type many suspect Albert Einstein had. “Excessive” brain growth in utero has been determined to be a sign of autism detectable in the wound. It breaks my heart to know this scientific advancement will mostly be used to discourage autistic birth, to eugenically select against autism.
When the Zika virus was first linked to microcephaly, many activists and organizations called on the Vatican to lift its total abortion ban given the weight the Church has in Central and South American laws. They argued that surely the aged religion could make an exception to prevent disability. The church did not. Once the matter was settled, those same abortion proponents mostly did not turn to fundraising for children with microcephaly or resources for their parents. Nor did the Vatican.
Both the anti choice right and pro choice left despise disabled people. Both sides engage in “inspiration porn” which objectifies disabled people. Both use us. The right claims every life is sacred and demands we be born, while cutting every social welfare program that could give us a decent quality of life. The left is more willing to tolerate our present numbers, but largely doesn’t question the premise that preventing more disabled life is the most moral path to take.