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Does a Poor Prenatal Diagnosis Justify Abortion?

Should a baby be aborted if it will suffer?

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Does a Poor Prenatal Diagnosis Justify Abortion?



Should a baby be aborted if she will suffer? You’re having a conversation about abortion, and someone says it isn’t right to bring a child into the world who suffers from a terrible disease, will have a poor quality of life, or be a burden on others. What would you say? In 2017, CBS reported that Down Syndrome was disappearing from Iceland. Why is that? Well, almost 100% of the time where women learn their baby has Down Syndrome, they opt for abortion. Other times, we hear that if a child will be disadvantaged or suffer, abortion may be best. Here are three things to remember in this conversation. First, if we wouldn’t kill an adult with a condition, we shouldn’t kill the baby either. Since Down Syndrome is such a common excuse for abortion, ask yourself this, “Should a civil society kill a teenager working in a local grocery store because he has Down Syndrome?” Obviously not. But what’s the difference between a teenager and a pre-born child? Their age. Whether it is Down Syndrome, a lack of limbs, or any other condition, since the human right to life is grounded in being human, not in our age, we shouldn’t kill a baby because of their physical circumstances any more than we should kill a grown person in similar circumstances. Second, just societies care for the most vulnerable. Think about how much our world speaks out against bullying. There are so many campaigns at schools to remind people that those who are stronger should not pick on those who are weaker; to remind people that those with certain appearances or abilities should not pick on others with different appearances or abilities. But somehow, in a conversation about abortion, we abandon those principles and replace it with “they’ll be better off dead.” That’s not just and it’s not compassionate. Third, killing people is not the right way to stop suffering. The fact is, life is hard. Yes, some have a more difficult journey than others, but regardless of our physical or mental condition, each one of us is forced to deal with challenges. However, physical challenges in no way guarantee a poor quality of life. We all probably know people with physical challenges whose quality of life is much better than other people we know who appear to be physically well. Life itself is a gift, even with its challenges. Allowing ourselves to decide when someone’s chances of suffering are so great that they no longer deserve to live is very dangerous territory. What health conditions are serious enough to justify ending someone’s life? Who gets to decide? Isn’t allowing that decision to be made only prior to birth arbitrary? Once we gives ourselves the permission to decide who lives and dies based on our personal opinion of their chance for a good quality of life, we place ourselves in the company of people we probably don’t want to be in. Protecting the vulnerable and caring for those who suffer is a much better option for everyone. Let’s Review If we are considering whether abortion is the right solution to potential suffering for a baby, remember: If we wouldn’t kill an adult with a particular condition, we shouldn’t abort a baby either. Just societies care for the most vulnerable. And finally, killing people is not the right solution to suffering. Service, compassion, and sacrifice is.


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