A New Eugenics?

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 2 2014 @ 3:59pm

 troubled by the sky-high abortion rate for Down syndrome pregnancies:

If the numbers on abortion and Down syndrome are even remotely accurate, the birth of a Down baby is something already against the norm. As medical costs are more and more socialized, it is hard to see how the stigma attached to “choosing” to carry a Down syndrome child to term will not increase. Why choose to burden the health system this way? Instead of neighbors straightforwardly admiring parents for the burden they bear with a disabled child, society is made up of taxpayers who will roll their eyes at the irresponsible breeder, who is costing them a mint in “unnecessary” medical treatment and learning specialists at school. Why condemn a child to a “life like that,” they will wonder.

He contends that “the ingredients still exist for a more explicit return to eugenics in our culture and politics: inequality, fear, detestation of the other”:

But if it comes back, it is unlikely to come in the explicitly racialist terms of the biodiversity-obsessed right. Liberal societies have the antibodies against that. Instead, it will come to us in terms of “quality of life,” and “health and safety.” We will be urged that every child deserves the best society can grant, and stigmatize those for whom “the world is a difficult place.” And thereby we legitimize the destruction of those who would merely “live” in society rather than thrive in it.