Eugenic abortion has become quietly commonplace, as evident in the paucity of disabled children seen these days. Over the years eugenic abortion increased as prenatal screening supposedly improved. But according to a recent New York Times report, prenatal screening tests for rare conditions are often wrong. This invites a grim question: How many children have been aborted on what amount to bad guesses?
Catering to a market of parents less and less tolerant of imperfections in their children, the prenatal screening industry is making testing claims it can’t fulfill. At first the industry focused on conditions such as Down syndrome, but “as manufacturers tried to outsell each other, they began offering additional screenings for increasingly rare conditions,” reports the Times. “The grave predictions made by those newer tests are usually wrong, an examination by The New York Times has found.”
Prenatal screening misinformation is leading bewildered parents to abort healthy children.
This sad story is an awful reminder of the consequences that follow from basing the right to life not on the humanity of the child but on its perceived health. The companies peddling these tests are engaged in false advertising, according to the Times: “on product brochures and test result sheets, companies describe the tests to pregnant women and their doctors as near certain. They advertise their findings as ‘reliable’ and ‘highly accurate,’ offering ‘total confidence’ and ‘peace of mind’ for patients who want to know as much as possible.”
It is clear that this industry is lightly regulated, which is no doubt due to the pro-abortion prejudices of the Food and Drug Administration. “Some of the companies offer tests without publishing any data on how well they perform, or point to numbers for their best screenings while leaving out weaker ones. Others base their claims on studies in which only one or two pregnancies actually had the condition in question,” according to the Times. “There are few restrictions on what test makers can offer. The Food and Drug Administration often requires evaluations of how frequently other consequential medical tests are right and whether shortfalls are clearly explained to patients and doctors. But the F.D.A. does not regulate this type of test.”
Even the Times, which is staunchly in favor of abortion, acknowledges that this misinformation is leading bewildered parents to abort healthy children. “A 2014 study found that 6 percent of patients who screened positive [for a defect in the unborn child] obtained an abortion without getting another test to confirm the result. That same year The Boston Globe quoted a doctor describing three terminations following unconfirmed positive results,” it reports. “Three geneticists recounted more recent examples in interviews with The Times. One described a case in which the follow-up testing revealed the fetus was healthy. But by the time the results came, the patient had already ended her pregnancy.”
Some of the conditions these tests falsely flag involve such vague “defects” as the possibility of “delayed language acquisition.” The industry appears to encourage parents to abort on flaky probabilities and imagined fears. (READ MORE: Talking Honestly About Abortion)
The Times says that in “interviews, 14 patients who got false positives said the experience was agonizing. They recalled frantically researching conditions they’d never heard of, followed by sleepless nights and days hiding their bulging bellies from friends. Eight said they never received any information about the possibility of a false positive, and five recalled that their doctor treated the test results as definitive.” One woman interviewed said “a nurse called and told her she and her husband would soon face ‘tough decisions’ related to their child’s ‘quality of life,’ ” only to discover later that the screening was wrong.
The prenatal screening industry is a large and growing business. “Today, analyst estimates of the market’s size range from $600 million into the billions, and the number of women taking these tests is expected to double by 2025,” says the Times.
What was once considered a crime against humanity — systematically killing the weak in the name of “eugenics” — became a humdrum practice after Roe v. Wade. After World War II, with the memory of the social engineering of the Nazis fresh in people’s minds, the eugenics movement petered out. But the Supreme Court’s invention of a right to abortion revived an assault on the disabled, carried out under such chilly slogans as “every child a wanted child.”
This movement is based on a huge lie — that a person’s humanity stands or falls on strength and health — but now it adds a new touch of grotesqueness as its hubristic errors pressure parents into aborting children wrongly deemed diseased.
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