Monday, May 14, 2007

Life Links 5/14/07

How do some pro-choicers react when prolife college students show a Planned Parenthood employee trying to avoid contacting authorities about statutory rape? Salon's Tracy Clark-Flory assumes it must just be one bad egg and labels it an "attack" on Planned Parenthood. I wonder if Clark-Flory feels the same way about investigations into pregnancy centers by NARAL where volunteers pretended they might be pregnant?

Another Salon writer, Peter Birkenhead, tells the story about how he and his now ex-wife (I'm assuming they were married) decided to abort their unborn child because he or she tested positive for Down Syndrome.
They are the people we need to help, and we can help them best by creating a culture that actually values life, not one that sacrifices the quality of the lives of thousands of (mostly poor) young women in the name of "morality."

Is a woman who decides to abort a fetus that would be born into poverty, or addicted to crack, practicing "eugenics"? I don't happen to think so -- I would also exempt screening for genetic diseases and syndromes that significantly impair a person's quality of life from that term, which I think should be reserved for the clearly malign use of genetic testing to screen out undesirable attributes, like gender or hair color or sexual identity -- but my opinion is irrelevant. The only opinion that counts is the opinion of the women making the decision.
So we create a culture that "actually values life" by letting woman kill their unborn children?

I also wonder if Birkenhead knows what the term eugenics means (it means "good birth") because intentionally killing or preventing certain human beings from being born based on whether their "quality of life" will be impaired is basically the definition of negative eugenics. I also love how Birkenhead will excuse abortions based on gender or hair color as long as the mother is making the decision. Eugenics (even by Birkenhead's definition) appears to be okay as long as the woman is deciding which attributes could affect her child's "quality of life."

Birkenhead ends by showing us that he believes in fairy tales about embryonic stem cell research.

Here's an article on how pro-choice organizations deal with prenatal testing and where a consistent pro-choice position leads.
But Kirsten Moore, president of the pro-choice Reproductive Health Technologies Project, said that when members of her staff recently discussed whether to recommend that any prenatal tests be banned, they found it impossible to draw a line — even at sex selection, which almost all found morally repugnant. "We all had our own zones of discomfort but still couldn't quite bring ourselves to say, ‘Here's the line, firm and clear' because that is the core of the pro-choice philosophy," she said. "You can never make that decision for someone else."
If abortion is a woman's choice, then you can't regulate abortion regardless of how despicable the reason for it is.

The AOL Sports blog notes that ESPN's Outside the Lines found some colleges "have written policies saying any student-athlete who becomes pregnant will lose her athletic scholarship, and that many athletes have abortions because they don't want to lose their scholarships" and links to an AP story which shares the experiences of pregnant athletes who were forced to choose between keeping their baby and keeping their scholarship.

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