Thursday, November 29, 2007

Darwinism, misguided

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.


Rich Leonardi said...

In Archbishop Charles Chaput's book "Living the Catholic Faith," he explains that pre-natal screening is why we rarely see children with Down Syndrome anymore.

Father Schnippel said...

As the proud uncle of a special needs child, this is one of the things that scares me so much. I've learned much from my niece, especially in not taking life for granted and trusting those who are around us. She has this wonderful way of coming up to you and falling into your lap, with the implicit understanding that you will catch her. It is very touching.

This is also one of the reasons that some of the strongest supporters of the Pro-Life cause are advocacy groups for the handicapped and disabled.

It all has a Third Reich feel to it, doesn't it? Scary.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh this is so scary.....

I have no words.....

Adoro te Devote said...

I once posted on this topic, just triggered by some other terrifying news story.

It is horrible. I look at this, and look at my parents; Mom was born with only one hand. Dad was born with Spina Biffeda.

According to the new eugenics being carried out and PUSHED by our "hospitals" and "medical clinics", well, they shouldn't have been allowed to exist. And by default...nor should I.

Yeah, it's terrifying. I've also worked with special needs children and adults and let me tell you, each one of them has value.

In high school when studying Plato's "Republic" (I believe that's where they discussed the concept of Utopia) I had to write a paper. And I observed in the paper that the greatest measure of a society is not in wealth and intelligence, but in how that society treats their disabled and "useless" people.

I didn't realize until I was well into adulthood how true that really is.

Kelly Benjey said...

Isn't amazing how quickly the lines between right and wrong become blurred?!?! And so often in the name of some perceived greater good. Unbelievable!

Another thought to the twisted angle of abortion being the "responsible" choice... at what point will hospitals and insurance carriers be allowed to refuse treatment to a child with a birth defect which could have been "prevented" by abortion?