Abortion, Disability, and Eugenics

How to Be a Christian in a Brave New World I really like this book: How To Be A Christian In A Brave New World by Joni Eareckson Tada and Nigel De S. Cameron.  I’ve mentioned it on this blog before (here and here), so I won’t review all the details.  Instead, I’d like to quote a helpful paragraph by Tada that has to do with designer babies, eugenics, disability, and abortion.  Right before the following quote, Tada told the story of how a mother learned through screening that there was a high chance that her unborn baby had Down syndrome.  Sadly, the woman (“Kate”) ended up having an abortion.

“I wonder what made Kate decide to abort her unborn child with Down syndrome?  Did she think he would find no happiness in life?  Or did she worry about the burden this young life would place on her family?  Was it motivated by a fear of financial strain? Even some doctors who perform abortions feel uncomfortable as some women choose to quietly abort fetuses with relatively minor defects.”

“As a person with a serious disability, this [topic of eugenics and designer babies] makes me very nervous.  I see a grass-routs eugenics movement beginning to evolve that ultimately will lead to a greater intolerance of disabilities.  Our society has a fundamental fear of disability, and we are letting that fear drive everything from laws and policies to the quiet hints in ob-gyn offices that an unborn child is ‘better off dead than disabled.’”

“I wish people would see that a disability can provide the passport into a richer life and a deeper happiness than Kate would ever dream for her child (see James 1:2-5).  True, disability is hard – but it can also powerfully unite a family.  It can refine a family’s character and set of values.  It can force one to see the joy in simple achievements and pleasures.  A disability can foster faith, a deeper prayer life, and a respect for God and his Word.  Most of all, it can force us into the arms of the Lord of grace (see 2 Cor. 1:9).  And that’s a good thing.  A very good thing.”

I’m thankful for the work that Tada and Cameron are doing in the area where ethics and the Christian faith meet. And I’m even more thankful that in and through Christ’s resurrection, whoever believes in him will one day be completely renewed – soul and body (Phil. 3:21).

Tada and Cameron, How To Be A Christian In A Brave New World (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006), 133-134).

shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)
hammond, wi

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