If we compare a severely defective human infant with a dog or a pig
... we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities ...
Only the fact that the defective infant is a member of the species
Homo sapiens leads it to be treated differently from the dog or pig.
But species membership alone is not relevant ... If we can put aside
the obsolete and erroneous notion of the sanctity of all human life,
we may start to look at human life as it really is: At the quality of
life that each human being has or can attain.
'Bioethicist' Peter Singer.
Abortion must remain an option for those women who have discovered,
through prenatal testing, that their fetuses are congenitally malformed.
These children would have an extremely low degree of quality of life and
would be a great psychological burden on the mothers and families, in
addition to being a drain on scarce societal resources.
It is especially important to keep this option open for pregnant
women who are 35 or older, because the risks of fetal defects are
greatly increased at this age.
One of the Wedges.
Legal abortion would decrease the tragedy of the birth of deformed
National Abortion Rights Action League.
Pro-abortionists commonly use the chilling specter of grossly
malformed infants in their propaganda campaign to keep abortion legal.
Naturally, they concentrate exclusively on the extreme 'hard cases'
babies with anencephaly, multiple gross physical malformations,
Trisomy-21, and the most severe imaginable cases of Down Syndrome.
They commonly use the argument that such babies have such a low
"quality of life" that they would not have a 'meaningful
existence.' What they really mean, of course, is that caring for
such a baby would decrease their quality of life and the
meaningfulness of their existences.
The threat of severe fetal birth defects, of course, was one of the
three primary wedges, or "hard cases" used to obtain abortion
on demand in this country (the other two were rape/incest and extreme
threats to the mother's physical "health," which are described
in Chapters 79 and 51, respectively).
Highlighting Glaring Pro-Abortion Hypocrisy.
The hypocrisy of the pro-death position regarding handicapped unborn
babies is absolutely breathtaking and should be highlighted at every
The pro-aborts will fight for more handicapped parking slots at
supermarkets, but stand silently by while handicapped newborns
are starved to death in nurseries all over this country.
The pro-aborts set up shelters for battered and abused women, but
approve of and facilitate sex-selection abortions that are directed
almost exclusively towards exterminating those preborn children whose
birth defect is that they are female.
And they have sign-language experts translate all speeches at
pro-abortion rallies purportedly for the benefit of those who are deaf
(but actually to give themselves a nice, caring image), while
they simultaneously fight to kill all preborns who are handicapped in
Pro-abortionists have many curious blind spots, but their attitude
towards handicapped preborns is perhaps the strangest. When preborns and
even newborns are eliminated solely because of their handicaps,
when all other factors are equal, the pro-aborts do not see this as
discrimination based upon disability (i.e., abortion of the
'differently-abled' based entirely upon their handicap(s)).
The Finkbine Case.
The abortion issue was first defined for many Americans by the
intense publicity surrounding the Sherri Finkbine case.
Finkbine, the mother of four, hosted the "Romper Room"
television series in Scottsdale, Arizona in the early 1960s. Her stage
name was 'Miss Sherri.'
Her husband brought her some samples of the tranquilizer thalidomide
which she ingested; she then heard about the fact that many pregnant
women who had taken the drug had given birth to babies with missing
limbs. At about the same time, she found out that she was pregnant.
She began to fear that her preborn baby would be deformed, and made
her situation public. Local courts upheld State anti-abortion laws and
said that she could not have the abortion done in a Scottsdale hospital.
So she traveled to Stockholm to have her baby exterminated.
Pro-abortion activists of Finkbine's era meticulously exploited her
situation with a huge splash of publicity, just as they would exploit
other women in other difficult situations decades later (for other
examples of pro-abortion propaganda campaigns based upon the suffering
of women, see Chapter 17 of Volume I, "Anti-Life Propaganda."
Finkbine revealed the obvious reason for the carefully-staged media
blitz: "Then, too, I hope that our case serves as a catalyst of
sorts for abortion reform in our country."
Finkbine has been a pro-abortion crusader ever since, saying in 1992
that "This [question of abortion] shouldn't be an issue in the
political arena. When a woman has to make this kind of decision, she
should see her doctor, not her lawyer."
The thought of possibly having a "deformed child" obviously
revolted Finkbine. She stated that she did not want a child who
"... sits in the park and has people give him peanuts and things.
Had it not been for the abortion, I would have taken care of the four
children I had, and the head and torso [referring to her baby]."
Despite projecting a motherly, caring image to thousands of people on
"Romper Room," Finkbine, by her actions, essentially told the
public that she could really only relate to perfectly healthy White
babies. Any child with any kind of handicap should not come near her, as
evidenced by her cruel labeling of a handicapped child as a "head
Her claim that her preborn baby was deformed was naturally never
verified by any reliable sources.
Killing As Usual.
As always, the abortionists ignored the law if it did not exactly
coincide with their beliefs and practices.
For example, New York State suffered the last widespread rubella
(German measles) epidemic in 1964. Abortion was illegal in the state at
the time even for birth defects but thousands of women who merely thought
that they might have been exposed to the virus got abortions with the
eager complicity of the doctors. Dr. Bernard Nathanson stated that
"We personally did at least one hundred such abortions, secure in
the knowledge that we would not be prosecuted since abortion was already
in the process of being socially legitimized."
Flaws in the Eugenics
My father was a Jewish physician in Braunau, Austria. One day only
two babies were born at the local hospital. The parents of the healthy
boy were proud and happy. The other was a girl. Her parents were
extremely sad. She was a mongoloid child. I followed their lives for
50 years. The girl remained at home and, even though retarded, was the
sole support of the mother after a stroke. I no longer even remember
her name. But I will never forget the boy's name. He died in a bunker
in Berlin. His name was Adolf Hitler.
American physician telling his story to
Jerome Lejeune, M.D., Ph.D., the discoverer of the Down Syndrome
The Basic Objection.
History is replete with examples of forced contraception, abortion,
euthanasia and even genocide, all committed in the name of
"purifying the race." History also shows us what results from
such programs. They always begin as the 'provision of a service.' They
are always examined closely and pronounced to be 'beneficial to
And, inevitably, they become so 'beneficial to society' that they
must be made compulsory.
There are a number of very strong and logical objections to the
specific practice of abortion for eugenics, as described in the
Denying the Will of God.
To begin with, God opens and shuts the womb, and God decides how many
children (and what kind of children) we will have. Before the United
States became a pagan nation, people used to accept the birth of a
handicapped child as the will of God.
Unfortunately, our nation has lately been afflicted with the attitude
that asserts "If it can be done, it must be
done." We can now 'override' God's plan with contraception,
sterilization, and abortion whenever we please. Selecting the quality of
our children is merely an outgrowth of this attitude. By sparing
ourselves the difficulties of raising a 'special' child, we are spurning
God's will for us and are acting in our own interests, not the
Only God knows what blessings these never-to-be-born handicapped
babies would have brought into this world. In fact, those not born may
have even saved the world at some point in the future, because,
if our society becomes callous enough in its attitudes towards those
with handicaps, we will inevitably look upon others who are not
identical to ourselves as somehow 'expendable.'
And we all know what happens after that.
The Nazi Mentality.
Secondly, the killing of children simply because they do not measure
up to our standards is chillingly reminiscent of a movement dedicated
towards achieving Margaret Sanger's "race of thoroughbreds."
The Nazi eugenics program (whose philosophy was developed in the United
States, as described in Chapter 53, "Holocaust Analogy to
Abortion") was nothing more than this utilitarian attitude
transformed into concrete action.
Whether the State kills 750,000 retarded citizens, or a husband and
wife kill their less-than-perfect preborn baby, the philosophy,
motivation, and results are the same.
The philosophy is that there is 'life not worth living.'
The motivation is to eliminate those who are 'burdensome' and who are
The result is not only the deaths of the handicapped, but the deaths
of consciences as well.
In other words, whoever pushes abortion for birth defects has a
mentality that can be uniquely identified as classically Nazi-like. This
is not stereotyping or slander or name-calling; it is an easily-proven
and logical conclusion.
For more information on the Nazi mentality, see Chapter 2 of Volume
I, "The Anti-Life Mentality," Chapter 53, "The Holocaust
Analogy to Abortion," and Chapter 105 of Volume III,
Babies to Order.
As with all evils, abortion for eugenics is leading to a plethora of
abuses that were unimaginable only a decade ago.
Americans are oriented towards obtaining the best of everything, and
this includes the 'gender-balanced' family exactly one perfect boy and
one perfect girl. In pursuit of this ideal, we have thousands of
sex-selection abortions per year; we have sperm banks where women commit
a kind of high-tech adultery by selecting the father they would like
their child to have; we have fetal organ harvesting and experimentation;
and we have infanticide, the purposeful neglect and outright killing of
2,000 to 5,000 babies annually who have correctable defects such as
With the assistance of amoral 'bioethicists' like James Watson and
Peter Singer, we are dreaming of parthenogenesis, cloning, artificial
uteri, chimeras (human-animal combinations), and the elimination of all
genetic defects (a physical impossibility).
The 'bioethicists' and dreamers, for all of their academic degrees
and artificial fame, do not seem able to learn this common-sense lesson:
when you treat man as just another animal, he fulfills this destiny by becoming
just another animal, because he will eventually lose his soul.
Overrating the Risks.
Talk about breeding out genetic diseases is a lot of nonsense.
Seriously affected persons are unlikely to marry and have children;
the genes are passed along by carriers. For instance, there are 40
carriers for every person with sickle cell anemia. If every victim of
this disease were eliminated, it would require 750 years just to cut
the incidence in half; to stamp it out altogether would require
200,000 abortions for every 500,000 couples. Because each 'normal'
person is the carrier of three or four bad genes, the only way to
eliminate genetic diseases would be to sterilize or abort everybody.
Hymie Gordon, M.D., Chairman, Department of
Medical Genetics, The Mayo Clinic.
Role of the Media and Medicos.
The pro-abortionists and the media (with their propaganda), in
conjunction with the medical community (with its advocacy and silence)
have convinced the public that birth defects are rampant in certain
classes of women. One of the 'hard cases' most commonly trotted out by
the pro-aborts involves a 45-year old woman pregnant with a (naturally
A Survey of Public Perceptions.
How common are birth defects after the age of 35? The
Portland, Oregon-based pro-life group Advocates for Life Ministries
conducted a random telephone survey in 1989 regarding, among other
things, the public's perceived rate of serious fetal birth defects in
women of age 40. The responses reflected the natural tendency of the
public to overrate the probability of rare but disastrous consequence.
The respondents to the survey believed that the probability of severe
birth defects in children born to women aged forty and over averaged
In other words, the average person believes that nearly half of all
babies borne by women after the age of 40 have serious birth defects.
The medical community does not help clear up this severe degree of
misunderstanding by automatically classifying all pregnant women over
the age of 35 as 'high risk.'
The Real Risks.
Risks by Defect and Maternal Age.
The actual risks of specific major birth defects are shown in Figure
38-1, and the overall risks of major birth defects, as a function of
maternal age, are shown in Figure 38-2.
FETAL GENETIC ABNORMALITIES, EFFECTS, RISKS, AND TREATMENTS
[A medium text size on your computer's 'view'
setting is recommended, otherwise, the tables may be discombobulated.]
death before two
death by 25
Down Syndrome Minor to
by age 25
Absence of brain
Unclosed spinal cord;
Sex chromosome Minor to
Brain and nerve
death by age five
organ defects fatal
soon after birth
fatal soon after birth
TOTAL RISK OF ALL SEVERE GENETIC
Reference: Hippocrates Magazine,
May/June 1988, pages 68 and 69.
RISKS OF FETAL GENETIC ABNORMALITIES, RELATED TO MATERNAL AGE
Total Risk of
0.04% (1 out of 2,500) 0.12% (1 out of
0.04% (1 out of 2,500) 0.12% (1 out of
0.04% (1 out of 2,500) 0.13% (1 out of
0.04% (1 out of 2,500) 0.13% (1 out of
0.04% (1 out of 2,500) 0.14% (1 out of
0.05% (1 out of 2,000) 0.14% (1 out of
0.05% (1 out of 2,000) 0.15% (1 out of
0.05% (1 out of 2,000) 0.16% (1 out of
0.06% (1 out of 1,667) 0.17% (1 out of
0.06% (1 out of 1,667) 0.18% (1 out of
0.07% (1 out of 1,429) 0.19% (1 out of
0.07% (1 out of 1,429) 0.20% (1 out of
0.08% (1 out of 1,250) 0.22% (1 out of
0.09% (1 out of 1,111) 0.23% (1 out of
0.10% (1 out of 1,000) 0.25% (1 out of
0.11% (1 out of 909) 0.27% (1 out of
0.13% (1 out of 769) 0.30% (1 out of
0.16% (1 out of 625) 0.35% (1 out of
0.19% (1 out of 526) 0.40% (1 out of
0.23% (1 out of 435) 0.47% (1 out of
0.28% (1 out of 357) 0.54% (1 out of
0.31% (1 out of 323) 0.59% (1 out of
0.34% (1 out of 294) 0.64% (1 out of
0.37% (1 out of 270) 0.69% (1 out of
0.41% (1 out of 244) 0.75% (1 out of
0.45% (1 out of 222) 0.81% (1 out of
0.50% (1 out of 200) 0.88% (1 out of
0.55% (1 out of 182) 0.96% (1 out of
0.61% (1 out of 164) 1.03% (1 out of
0.71% (1 out of 141) 1.15% (1 out of
0.84% (1 out of 119) 1.30% (1 out of
0.99% (1 out of 101) 1.50% (1 out of
1.18% (1 out of 85)
1.73% (1 out of
1.39% (1 out of 72)
2.01% (1 out of
1.65% (1 out of 61)
2.36% (1 out of
1.95% (1 out of 51)
2.81% (1 out of
Reference: Hymie Gordon, M.D., Chairman,
Department of Medical Genetics at the Mayo Clinic.
These figures show that, for a woman of 40, the risk of a serious
fetal birth defect is less than one half of one percent not the 50
percent perceived by the public!
In fact, in those unusual cases where women of age 50 become
pregnant, the risk of serious birth defects is less than three
Results of Statistical Tabulations.
The extremely low percentage of birth defects shown in Figures 38-1
and 38-2 are confirmed by a number of surveys performed both in this
country and in other nations. These studies were based upon
legally-mandated recordkeeping by abortion clinics as described below.
The Louisiana Study.
In the state of Louisiana, abortionists must complete a form entitled
"Report of Induced Termination of Pregnancy" (Form #PHS 16-ab)
for every abortion performed. The form notes at the top that
"Failure to complete and file this form is a crime," so
compliance tends to be very good.
The Office of Public Health of the Louisiana Department of Health and
Hospitals collects and analyzes these statistics. Over the 14-year
period 1975 to 1988, 202,135 abortions were performed in the state of
Louisiana. Of these, justification was listed for 115,243 of them under
Item 9d, "Reason for Pregnancy Termination." The reasons for
these abortions are listed below;
REPORTED REASONS FOR LOUISIANA ABORTIONS, 1975 TO 1988
This means that one out of every 1,109 abortions performed in
Louisiana was for fetal deformities.
The United Kingdom Study.
There were 358,074 abortions reported in the United Kingdom for the
years 1987 and 1988. Of these, a total of 2,448 were performed for
"substantial risk of the child being born seriously
This is a total of 0.68% (two-thirds of one percent), or abortion in
References: Risks of Birth Defects.
 Peter Singer. "Sanctity of Life or Quality of Life?" Pediatrics,
 Looseleaf booklet entitled "Organizing for Action."
Prepared by Vicki Z. Kaplan for the National Abortion Rights Action
League, 250 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019. 51 pages, no date.
 Sherri Finkbine, quoted in Alan Guttmacher, M.D. The Case for
Legalized Abortion Now. Berkeley: Diablo Press, 1967. Pages 24 and
 Dennis McDougal, Los Angeles Times-Washington Post
Service. "Emotionally Charged Abortion Issue Told in
'Sherri'." TV Click, The Sunday Oregonian, February
9, 1992, page 26.
 Dr. Bernard Nathanson. Bernadell Technical Bulletin.
January 1990, page 3.
 An American physician telling his story to Jerome Lejeune, M.D.,
Ph.D., the discoverer of the Down Syndrome gene. Quoted in Carolyn F.
Gerster, M.D. "From the President's Desk." National Right
to Life News, November 1979, page 11.
 Hymie Gordon, M.D. Chairman, Department of Medical Genetics, Mayo
Clinic. Quoted in Denyse Handler. "More From Hymie Gordon on
Genetics." National Right to Life News, July 1978, page 6.
 D.B. Paintin, M.D., Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St.
Mary's Hospital Medical School, London, England. "Late
Abortions." The Lancet, November 11, 1989. No. 8672:1158.
Further Reading: Risks of Birth Defects.
Pregnancy in the Older Woman: January 1983 Through December 1987.
Contains 327 citations covering Cesarian section, contraception,
Down Syndrome, infertility, placental complications, prenatal diagnosis,
and maternal, infant, and perinatal mortality. Serial Number
817-004-00001-6, 1988, 21 pages. Order by mail from Superintendent of
Documents, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
20402, or by telephone from (202) 783-3238.
© American Life League BBS - 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia
published by American Life League.