Writer Would Have Aborted a Child With Down Syndrome: “Women Need That Right”

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 12, 2018   |   12:16PM   |   Washington, DC

One of America’s largest newspapers echoed the deadly eugenic philosophy of the 1930s on its opinion page Friday.

“I would’ve aborted a fetus with Down syndrome,” read the headline on deputy editorial page editor Ruth Marcus’s piece. “Women need that right.”

Marcus acknowledged the dangerous implications of her pro-abortion position. She said women have the “right to choose” abortion without restriction, and, as prenatal testing improves, women may choose to abort unborn babies simply because of a low IQ, sex, eye color or height.

But even these disgusting implications were not enough to sway her. In her mind, women should have the ultimate power to choose life or death for their unborn child for any reason, and nothing should get in the way of it.

She wrote:

I respect — I admire — families that knowingly welcome a baby with Down syndrome into their lives. Certainly, to be a parent is to take the risks that accompany parenting; you love your child for who she is, not what you want her to be.

But accepting that essential truth is different from compelling a woman to give birth to a child whose intellectual capacity will be impaired, whose life choices will be limited, whose health may be compromised. Most children with Down syndrome have mild to moderate cognitive impairment, meaning an IQ between 55 and 70 (mild) or between 35 and 55 (moderate). This means limited capacity for independent living and financial security; Down syndrome is life-altering for the entire family.

I’m going to be blunt here: That was not the child I wanted. That was not the choice I would have made. You can call me selfish, or worse, but I am in good company. The evidence is clear that most women confronted with the same unhappy alternative would make the same decision.

Unborn babies with Down syndrome frequently are aborted. A recent CBS News report shocked the nation with its exposure of the discriminatory abortion trend. According to the report, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies who test positive for Down syndrome are aborted in Iceland. The rate in France was 77 percent in 2015, 90 percent in the United Kingdom and 67 percent in the United States between 1995 and 2011, according to CBS.

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But just because many people are doing it does not make it right.

Perhaps these numbers would decrease if influential journalists, academics and professionals did not encourage eugenic abortions. Parents frequently report feeling pressured to abort unborn babies with disabilities. And research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that many women are not receiving adequate counseling in such cases.

Instead of receiving support from a doctor, neighbor or even the media, these traumatized, heartbroken families are told that their sick child is better off dead. That if they have any doubts about caring for their child, if they fear their child may suffer, if they just don’t want a child with disabilities (as Marcus admitted), it’s ok to kill that unborn child – even after he or she is viable.

Marcus admitted “there are creepy, eugenic aspects” of prenatal testing that “call for vigorous debate.” But her next sentence urged against such debate.

“… the Constitution mandates — and a proper understanding of the rights of the individual against those of the state underscores — that these excruciating choices be left to individual women, not to government officials who believe they know best,” she concluded.