Abortion and disability

John Piper’s yearly Sanctity of Life Sunday sermon, “Born Blind for the Glory of God,” contained this powerful quote from The Weekly Standard:

With the development of prenatal genetic diagnosis, the drive toward eugenics has returned with a vengeance. Americans may heartily cheer participants in the Special Olympics, but we abort some 90 percent of all gestating infants diagnosed with genetic disabilities such as Down Syndrome, dwarfism, and spina bifida.

It’s obviously not a new fact, but it’s a contrast that can’t be made often enough.  I saw a little girl with Down Syndrome singing in the children’s choir at church this morning, and I have good friends whose beloved son is a teenager with Down Syndrome.  It’s terrifying to think that in many families, they simply would not have been allowed to be  born.

The article by Wesley Smith that Piper quotes can be found here.



  1. Yes, and the more people abort children with a higher chance of having disabilities, the less we are exposed to people with disabilities and the more strange and frightening it seems, and the more people will think that things like Down’s Syndrome are horrendous and unmanageable.

    If a parent gets the news that their child might have Down’s Syndrome and their mind immediately goes to a happy, sweet child affected with Down’s syndrome that they have spent time around, the likelihood that they will be able to take it in stride and make the decision to deal with it is probably higher than if all they have in their realm of experience is horror stories, worst-case scenarios given with medical detachment, and a vague feeling that it would be an awful life for a child to live.

  2. The scary thing to me is how overwhelming the statistics are that a child will be aborted. If over 90% of all kids diagnosed with DS get aborted, then either the vast majority of self-identifying pro-life people are either not getting the tests done (unlikely) or people who publicly espouse a pro-life viewpoint are still willing to kill their offspring when confronted with this diagnosis. It makes me wonder, looking around my own congregation, how many DS kids I should see, when the only DS people I see are older.

  3. Great points from both of you.

    Purple Kangaroo, I hadn’t thought about how the trend can feed on itself.

    MB, I’m shocked by the 90% number as well. Convenience seems to trump the right of the baby to live.

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