I speak frequently to large groups of students, families, and professionals about the silent eugenic movement against children diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome, and I also write regular articles about this disturbing subject. I warn people that if the culture can identify, target and eliminate unborn children with Down syndrome at a 90%+ rate because they are viewed as “defective” then we should all ask who is next?
There has been a focus in parts of the Autism community to unlock the genetic code for this diagnosis, and I have cautioned that this could lead to the same type of prenatal slaughter unborn children with Down syndrome are experiencing.
As bioethicist Wesley Smith commented this week, “More boys than girls have autism, so now, an Australian IVF clinic will search out male embryos for destruction before implantation, e.g., sex selection.” Not surprisingly there has been a lot of comment.
This week I read an article from Australia titled “Comment: Should there be prenatal screening for autism?” that shows how the culture of death is seeping into the prenatal Autism community while placing a focus on prenatal sex-selection.
Andrew Whitehouse, the author, explains
“Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/screening (PGD) is an IVF technique that occurs at the embryo stage prior to implantation. An egg from a woman and a sperm from a man are combined outside of the body (i.e., in a petri dish) to create an embryo (a fertilized egg). That embryo can then be ‘screened’ to determine whether its genetic make-up increases risk for a given disorder.”
Whitehouse shows how PGD can be misused:
“The Reproductive Technology Council will now allow certain women undergoing IVF treatment to be selectively implanted with female embryos only. The rationale for this practice is that autism is more likely to affect males than females (approximately 4 males for every 1 female), and by selecting female embryos, the chances of this child developing autism are reduced.”
So the Reproductive Technology Council, by giving permission to eliminate a male embryo (via sex selection), concludes this will assist in reducing the births of children diagnosed with Autism?
Had this technology been available we may have “terminated” the lives of amazing, brilliant males like Mozart, Michelangelo, Newton, Picasso and Lewis Carroll (www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/5-famous-autistic-people-throughout-history-3543522).
As we know, of course, it is not only male babies with fetal anomalies who are targeted. Some societies label prenatal females as “undesirable.” Hundreds of millions of girls are “missing,” the victims of prenatal targeting via ultrasounds.
Where is the outcry, protests and shock from women’s rights groups? The silence is deafening!
There is a very ominous declaration in Whitehead’s article that we all need to pay close attention to:
“The extraordinary developments in genetic technology in the recent past and the immediate future will undoubtedly lead us to a point, not too far from now, where we have the techniques and information to identify whether a person has autism by their genetic make-up alone. Science is moving fast and this is a debate that needs to be had.”
I totally agree, and if Life does not win the debate then we will continue down a slippery slope of silent eugenics eliminating all classified “defectives”. First they came prenatally for Down syndrome, then they came for females, then for Autism, then they came for…..?
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My beautiful daughter Chloe was born with Down syndrome in 2003. She is featured on and in a book titled “Brilliant Souls” which highlights the priceless blessing individuals with Down syndrome are to this world. How many more brilliant souls will we eradicate as prenatal genetic testing rapidly progresses and “tolerance and acceptance” for human beings who are not “culturally perfect” diminishes?
LifeNews Note: This column originally appeared at National Right to Life News Today.