Friday, September 23, 2005

Eugenics Today

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The abortion debate that wasn't
Under the radar, pregnancies increasingly are being terminated when fetuses are prenatally diagnosed with disabilities

By GEORGE NEUMAYR
GUEST COLUMNIST


In some cases, the aborted children aren't disabled at all but are mere carriers of a disease or stand a chance of getting one later in life. Prenatal screening has made it possible to abort children on guesses and probabilities. The law and its indulgence of every conceivable form of litigation have also advanced the new eugenics against the disabled. Working under "liability alerts" from their companies, doctors feel pressure to provide extensive prenatal screening for every disability, lest parents or even disabled children hit them with "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life" suits.

In a wrongful-birth suit, parents can sue doctors for not informing them of their child's disability and seek compensation from them for all the costs, financial and otherwise, stemming from a life they would have aborted had they received that prenatal information. Wrongful-life suits are brought by children (through their parents) against doctors for all the "damages" they've suffered from being born. (Most states recognize wrongful-birth suits, but for many states, California and New Jersey among the exceptions, wrongful-life suits are still too ridiculous to entertain.)

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