Sit in Grandpa's chair." The laughing voice rises from my office chair as Max bounces up and down. Max is my six-year-old grandson, and his visits are a whirl of McDonald's Happy Meals and rambunctious splashes in the pool.
When strangers see Max for the first time, they're immediately drawn to the blond, tousle-haired youngster. But in a few moments, they also notice that Max is different. You see, Max is autistic.
And today kids not very different from Max are being targeted for elimination.
Prenatal testing has become so sophisticated that doctors can now identify many disabilities before birth. But since most have no cure, the only way to "prevent" the disability is to prevent the baby's birth. Thus abortion is bringing back eugenics—the idea of weeding out "defectives" and upgrading our genetic stock.
Consider: In 1990 Joycelyn Elders said that abortion "has had an important, and positive, public-health effect" by reducing "the number of children afflicted with severe defects." Here was a public health official praising "the eugenic utility of abortion," notes Tucker Carlson in the Weekly Standard. Abortion is cast not merely as a private choice but also as a way to improve the species.
Take the case of Down syndrome. Studies reveal that when pregnant women learn they are carrying a Down syndrome baby, 90 percent have an abortion. Many say they are acting under pressure from doctors and insurance companies. In a Canadian study, one in three of the mothers said she felt "more or less forced" to abort.
The arguments wielded to "force" women are often crassly economic. Nachum Sicherman of Columbia Business School calls abortion of Down syndrome babies "a great cost saving." Dr. Mark Evans, director of Detroit's Center ...1