If it is acceptable to kill a disabled person in the womb, could it one day be considered permissible to kill a disabled infant?
Expectant parents can treat a diagnosis of fetal deformity or other form of birth defect almost as if it were death itself. It is not a physical death, but a death of hopes and dreams. Visions of a “normal” childhood—playing games, going to school, growing up, and starting families of their own—vanish in a flash. Parents in this moment of despair are often told they should simply go ahead and terminate the pregnancy and get on with their lives.
The first problem here is that medical opinions can be just that—opinions. There are countless cases of parents who permitted their children to live and found out at birth that the experts were wrong. Also, imagine the horror of the parents who abort their child only to learn after the fact that they had agreed to abort a perfectly healthy baby. Such an experience of remorse and grief is simply too difficult to comprehend.
Abortions in case of fetal abnormality, however, are just like all other abortions. They take the lives of innocent human beings. For example, did you know that 90 percent of preborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted?
Abortions in these cases raise frightening prospects, for if it is acceptable to kill a disabled person in the womb, could it one day be considered permissible to kill a disabled infant? A disabled adult? The answer is clearly “no” at this time in those cases, so why is there any question when the victim is a child in the womb?
Or to look at this question a different way, will we one day legally protect the killing of physically or emotionally disabled born human beings? Some argue that the passage of euthanasia or assisted-suicide bills already allow this.