By Dave Andrusko
If you follow this at all, it’s hard to miss that the Abortion Industry and its media cohorts have long been obsessed with the mantra of nothing-can-possibly-be-more-important-than-killing-unborn-babies. It extends to ensuring that the “freedom” to annihilate preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome never be abridged in the slightest. This is why they loathe bills that ban abortions that single out babies who have been prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome, such as South Dakota’s HB 1110. As of last Friday’s signing, no abortionist can knowingly abort an unborn child because he or she been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
I graduated from the University of Minnesota and did master’s work in journalism there, so it’s not surprising I have a soft spot for my alma mater. The two years I wrote for the student newspaper full-time and went to school at night were two of the best of the first half of my life.
So, a couple years back, when someone who was described as working at the University as an “Undergraduate Academic Advisor” wrote a viciously biased piece which is awash in contradictions, I felt the call to say a few words.
David M. Perry writes for left of center publications, including The Nation, for which he wrote “Republicans Are Using Fear of Eugenics to Attack Reproductive Rights”.
It’s a long piece, the gist of which is “prioritizing bodily autonomy” (i.e., doing nothing to try to stop the slaughter of kids because they have been diagnosed with a disability) is not only “ethically correct, but remains the best path forward to support disability rights.”
For most of us, that goes beyond a mere head scratcher into the territory of the bizarre.
What makes the piece even odder is that Perry and his wife are the parents of a child with Down syndrome. Anywhere from 60% to 90% of preborn babies found to have Down syndrome are aborted. Place, like Iceland, pine for day (which is rapidly approaching) when they are “free” of Down syndrome altogether.
So somehow Perry has to square the first part of this paragraph
I’ve spent many years now asserting the need to re-order how we ascribe value to diverse human lives. My son may not participate in the capitalist economy, live independently, or speak (he might also do all of these things!), but his value as a human is intrinsic. I’d like others to see it that way too. Selective abortion, as I’ve written for The Nation, reveals our attitudes about disability and other forms of difference.
with the rest of the paragraph that reads
Still it’s time to affirmatively support the right to eugenic abortion. The struggle for disability rights begins with the affirmation that no one gets to tell anyone else what to do with their body. That includes abortion.
Part of the “solution”—a huge part– is to vilify pro-lifers who dare to introduce, let alone pass, laws that ban abortions based on disability as the aforementioned South Dakota’s among others. Ohio’s law was the jumping off point for Perry’s column.
It’s a “winning wedge issue,” Perry tells us in a fit of pique. The only reason pro-lifers care is because children with Down syndrome are “cute”—it’s one of the “sympathetic disabilities”–and therefore likely to find a more receptive audience.
Warming to the task, a few paragraphs later Perry tells his readership, “Enter the anti-choice activists and their politics of division and destruction. They can exploit people with Down syndrome (often stereotyped as angelic) to push back reproductive rights.”
Note, by the way, this is the same man who a few paragraphs before noted, “With community and educational supports, people with Down syndrome live happy, inclusive, meaningful lives, and there’s data showing that having a sibling or child with Down syndrome strengthens overall familial bonds. At the same time, screening technologies are becoming more accurate and can be used earlier in a pregnancy.”
These contrasting paragraphs capture the inherent tension between his affirmation of an absolutely unfettered right to abort for any reason or none and a recognition that the lives of people with Down syndrome (and their families!) can be blessed.
But so what? Nothing but nothing can “undermine reproductive rights.”
Perry also angrily takes a shot at pro-life feminists who, of course are, for him, a contradiction in terms. He is annoyed that they (quite properly, by the way) use the language of disability rights and feminism to make the case for life.
But the reason all pro-lifers “use” these languages is because they reinforce what Perry himself concedes: that we all have “intrinsic” human value.
Perry refuses to see the moral schizophrenia inherent in espousing the causes of disability rights and feminism and then offering up three cheers for those who would abort children because they have a disability or are the “wrong” sex!
Perry insists if we look deep enough, we can square the circle: blatant, lethal discrimination will further the cause of people with disabilities and women. Figure that one out.
It’s nonsense, and Perry knows it. But he must keep his pro-abortion credentials burnished if he going to write for The Nation and Rewirenews, The Guardian, and Vice.com.
And what better way than for the father of a child with Down syndrome to say he’s fine with aborting children with disabilities