Kristan Hawkins, "Wrong to Use Prenatal Genetic Testing to Push for Abortion," LifeNews.com, April 4, 2011. Copyright © 2011 by LifeNews.com. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission.
"Before I had my son Gunner ... I didn't see prenatal diagnosis for what it really is, a tool to advance the eugenic agenda."
Prenatal genetic testing is not a tool to help prepare parents for children who suffer from diseases such as Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis, argues Kristan Hawkins in the following viewpoint. These tests are, in fact, tools to eliminate children that some believe are too costly for society, she claims. Unfortunately, Hawkins asserts, the government is involved in promoting this agenda, as it supports organizations that promote aborting children who suffer from Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis. People need to recognize the link between prenatal testing and abortion and promote a health care system that values all human life, even those with genetic diseases, she reasons. Hawkins leads Students for Life of America, a pro-life organization.
As you read, consider the following questions:
- According to Hank Greely of Stanford's Center for Law and the Biosciences, how will the number of prenatal tests performed grow?
- What did Hawkins say she had to accept when her son Gunner was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis?
- According to Hawkins, what percentage of children with Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis were aborted?
In a January  Nature Magazine article the head of Stanford's Center for Law and Biosciences, Hank Greely, said that within five years, genetic testing kits will be available over the counter that will predict not only whether a preborn baby has Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, or Tay Sachs disease, but also the baby's sex and eye color.
This is an alarming statement—one that, at first, many may not give a second thought [to], even some pro-lifers.
The Eugenic Agenda
In the same article, Greely estimates that the number of genetic tests performed on preborn babies will jump from the current 100,000 to over 3 million and that abortions will be viewed as a way to save money from being spent on "high cost children." Because who really wants "to bring a child into the world who will suffer and cause their family undue burden and emotional and financial hardship?"
Before I had my son Gunner, I knew that prenatal diagnosis was being used to eliminate children with Down Syndrome, but I didn't connect prenatal testing as the determining factor for abortions. My thinking was, "Well, it's good to have prenatal diagnosis for those parents who want to know and be prepared for the birth of their child." As a pro-life advocate, I obviously was and still am against abortion for any reason and believe that all persons have the right to exist, but I didn't see prenatal diagnosis for what it really is, a tool to advance the eugenic agenda, I just thought of it as a modern medicine tool that can help prepare parents.
Looking beyond the fact that some prenatal diagnosis procedures can be deadly for the preborn child and that it is not always accurate, I now have deep convictions against the use of prenatal diagnosis.
Refusing Prenatal Genetic Tests
When my oldest son, Gunner, was diagnosed at 2 months with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), my faith and my world was turned upside down like any parent's would be.
I have had to learn to accept a lot of things—the fact that my precious baby boy will not have an easy life, that my husband and I will always struggle financially to provide him with everything he needs, and that his life may be dramatically shortened at any moment.
Not long ago during one of Gunner's doctor visits, a genetics counselor, who is a part of the Cystic Fibrosis care team, came into the exam room and asked how she could "help" our family. Even though I knew what she was going to say, I asked her how she could help.
The genetics counselor replied that she could help arrange genetic testing for mine and my husband's sisters to see if they too carry the CF gene before they marry and decide to have children. She also told my husband and I that we would be "prime" candidates for in-vitro fertilization, which would allow us to create and select only embryos which do not have the Cystic Fibrosis for implantation, if we were considering having more children.
I refused her "help."
And last year, when I was pregnant with my 2nd son, Bear, I refused multiple requests for prenatal testing. And within minutes after his birth, I had to refuse multiple offers to insert an IUD into me, which would prevent the "risk" of having another child with Cystic Fibrosis.
You see, I refuse to accept the mentality that Gunner was a mistake and that if only I had gotten those prenatal tests, which I didn't undergo because of the risk to him, that he would not be on this earth today.
Promoting Prenatal Genetic Testing
A few months ago, I read two excellent articles by Mary Meehan in the Human Life Review about the history of prenatal diagnosis and our government's involvement in the promotion of the testing. Here are some of the highlights of those articles and other articles I have read in the past 2 years on this issue:
- Eugenics is founded out of Darwinism, the notion that only the "fit" should survive and that certain types of people should not "use up" society's resources because they will not be adding to them.
- In the mid-20th century, the American Eugenics Society realized that its name came with a negative connotation and changed its name to the American Genetics Society. Same people, same leaders, same ideas—just a different marketing scheme.
- The March of Dimes has been a prime supporter of genetics and actually published a journal called Birth Defects until the mid-1990s. Their agenda is working—they are "curing" diseases in children by killing them in the womb—90% of Down Syndrome and CF children are aborted. (It is no wonder why they support Planned Parenthood.)
- Planned Parenthood, the Goliath of the abortion business, is directly tied into the Eugenics/Genetics movement. We know this because of Margaret Sanger's writings and interviews about her own eugenics belief and quest to promote birth control to the poor and weak. Alan Guttmacher, Planned Parenthood's first president was also the Vice President of the American Eugenics Society, and the list of connections goes on between Planned Parenthood and Eugenics/Genetics. Watch the documentary Maafa 21 for more information about this twisted connection.
- Shockingly, eugenics is alive and well in America. I hear eugenic statements all the time even from people who do not realize they are doing it. Just last week, a YouTube video surfaced of Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, talking to an audience [February 12, 2010, at the TED2010 Conference, Long Beach, CA] about how to reduce global CO2 emissions. He gives an equation for how this can be accomplished—the first step reducing people. He thinks we can reduce the world's population by 10-15%, about 1 billion people, in the coming years through vaccines and reproductive "medicines".
(A side question to Mr. Gates—what vaccines are you referring to that will reduce the world's population? I want to stay away from those types!)
Today, we must begin the discussion about the link between prenatal testing, eugenics, abortion. And we must work to put into place a health care system in America that values all human life regardless of their genetic makeup.