Perfection At The Cost Of Humanity?

The Daily Mail has a disturbing – no, that's wrong – appalling story that a fairly large number of late term abortions have been performed because the fetus had what are considered very minor, fully treatable birth defects.

The ethical storm over abortions has been renewed as it emerged that terminations are being carried out for minor, treatable birth defects.

Late terminations have been performed in recent years because the babies had club feet, official figures show. Other babies were destroyed because they had webbed fingers or extra digits.

Such defects can often be corrected with a simple operation or physiotherapy.

The revelation sparked fears that abortion is increasingly being used to satisfy couples' desire for the 'perfect' baby.

A leading doctor said people were right to be 'totally shocked' that abortions were being carried out for such conditions.

Campaigners warned we are turning into a society that can no longer tolerate imperfection. Doctors were recently told they can now screen IVF embryos to try to weed out inherited cancers.

Ethical groups fear parents are opting for abortions because they are not told of the support and help available if they continued with the pregnancy.

Details of the terminations emerged as new figures revealed an alarming rise in the use of an abortion pill that has been linked to 10 deaths.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that between 1996 and 2004, 20 babies were aborted after 20 weeks because they had a club foot.

It is one of the most common birth defects in Britain, affecting one in 1,000 babies each year. That means around 600 to 700 babies are born annually in the UK with the problem, which causes the feet to point downwards and in severe cases can cause a limp.

However it can be corrected without surgery using splints, plaster casts and boots. Naomi Davis, a leading paediatrician at Manchester Children's Hospital who specialists in correcting club feet, said: 'I think it is reasonable to be totally shocked that abortion is being offered for this.

'It is entirely treatable. I can only think it is lack of information.'

Figures also show that four babies were aborted since 1996 because they were found to have webbed fingers or extra digits, which can be sorted out with simply surgery.

Abortions have been reported as late as 28 weeks. Normal gestation is 38 weeks. Is having the perfect baby worth the cost of your humanity?

I have a brother with Down Syndrome. He has been a challenge at times for the whole family and for my Mother in particular while she was alive. But neither my Mom or any of the rest of us wished he had not been born. For all the problems pale in comparison to the person he is. He loves to laugh, he loves to dance, he is always charming to any lady he meets and he is a very good artist with a unique perspective.

He is not disposable.

It is such a shame that others, with fewer challenges, are disposable in some people's minds.

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5 Responses to Perfection At The Cost Of Humanity?

  1. Roland Hesz says:

    Nah, I will be a downright bastard, and it will be nasty and brutal, so if you want to skip, I don’t blame you.

    I have to point out first, that I support a child with liver inefficiency + diabetes + epilepsy, so in part I know what it means to have a seriously ill child.
    Also, I don’t like the idea of aborting a pregnancy ’cause the child will have a birth defect.

    But, there is a growing concern on a daily basis, that these days a lot of people has immune deficiency, allergy and such.
    Mostly they blame it on smoke, air pollution and such, which certainly has an effect.
    But we have to realize, that these days – and it will be brutal, yes -, a lot of children live who would have died a century ago, passing their genes down.

    These birth defects – based on genetical theories – will be more and more frequent.

    Brutality off.

    Now all it said, I would say that having an abortion cause my child will have some birth defects is sheer stupidity, and it boils my blood.

    Now, you can flame me if you wish…

  2. Gaius says:

    You’re entitled to an opinion. That it is becoming commonplace is brutal enough. IT confirms that there is a slippery slope here.

  3. Roland Hesz says:

    As I said it was the cold logic opinion, not the human one.
    I live by the human, just sometimes I like to point out the cold logic behind every action.

    And as I pointed out, I do agree with your conclusion

    “He is not disposable.

    It is such a shame that others, with fewer challenges, are disposable in some people’s minds.”

    Nor is my little girl.

  4. Gaius says:

    The problem with that cold logic is that it becomes easier and easier to justify other coldly logical things.

  5. Roland Hesz says:

    Yes, I know.

    Unfortunately – or fortunately in this, and only this case – I have a living child to keep me on track.

    But I can see, that a lot of people go for the cold logic – but, I think that when they really fall for it, they don’t runderstand it.
    The reasoning does not aim on “perfecting” the human race – it just points out that human priorities has changed while nature did not.

    And cultural, moral and ethical way we can’t keep the pace with technology. We “can do”, but can’t understand the consequences.

    I think it’s not the logic what is flawed, but the conclusions we draw.
    The aim is not to purge the deficiencies, but to find ways to overcome them. After all, we don’t really hunt tigers and deer these days.

    Seems I can’t write short comments…

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