The Cincinnati Enquirer ran a column by Kathleen Parker this morning on misguided Darwinism, and how things can run amok very quickly:
Hey, did you hear the one about the woman who aborted her kid so she could save the planet?
That's no joke, but Darwin must be chuckling somewhere.
Toni Vernelli was one of two women recently featured in a London Daily Mail story about environmentalists who take their carbon footprint very, very seriously.
So seriously, in fact, that Vernelli aborted a pregnancy and, by age 27, had herself sterilized. Baby-making, she says, is "selfish" and "all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet."
Because Toni and her husband, Ed, are childless and vegan, they say they can justify one long-haul airplane trip per year and still remain carbon neutral.
It is an interesting twist from abortion as a 'right' to abortion as the morally responsible option. A friend of mine was on assignment in Texas, and related the following story of a co-worker:
Her coworker's daughter was pregnant, in her mid-twenties and married, so no scandal was involved. However, pre-natal testing revealed a possibility of Down's Syndrome. The co-worker, the grandmother of the child, wanted her daughter to abort the pregancy "Because I don't think that they can handle the responsibility of a special needs child." When pushed, it came down to: 'What kind of quality of life could they provide for this child?'
With the rise in mandatory pre-natal testing, I see this coming down the pike more and more, and what a scary thought it is.
One last quote:
Although I doubt there are many willing to sterilize themselves in order to reduce the size of their carbon footprint, such extreme materialism is the evolutionary product of our gradual commodification of human life.
Suddenly, the unborn is of no greater importance than the contents of our recycling bin. Like Weight Watchers dieters substituting carbs for sugars, we trade off future members of the human race to neutralize insults to Earth's balance in the present.
Here's how the mental calculation goes: Let's see, if I abort my child, maybe I can travel first-class to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.
Is this the slippery slope that pro-lifers prophesied? Once such utilitarian concerns edge out our humanity -- and once human life is deemed to have no greater value than any other life form -- how long before we begin tidying up other inconveniences?
There is a parallel article running at Ignatius Insight, by Mary Beth Bonacci.