Last Friday on the Today show, NBC’s chief medical editor, Nancy Snyderman, offered a surprising, chilling defense of selective abortions. She explained that recent advances in genetic testing will enable parents to find out more about their unborn children than ever before. The host asked her about any possible ethical concerns — when, for instance, it would become problematic for parents to abort a child that showed genetic problems. Snyderman’s answer?
Well, look, I’m pro-science, so I believe this is a great way to prevent diseases.
She prattled on as if scientific advances have essentially made ethical considerations impossible. Even advertising executive Donny Deutsch takes issue with Snyderman’s utter unconcern for morality:
SNYDERMAN: Well, you might learn that a child has a severe genetic problem. It gives parents a chance to decide whether they’re going to continue that pregnancy or not. This is the science of today. It is running fast into the future. And I think the future will be such that you’ll find out that your child may have a genetic hit. You can fix that genetic problem, and improve your chance, a child’s chance of having a healthier –
STAR JONES: When will you know about this?
SNYDERMAN: Well, it’s out there now but it’s too expensive.
DONNY DEUTSCH: But obviously there’s another flip side guys, there’s another flip — Look, I’m a pro-choice guy, but at the end of the day what’s stopping people, “Oh, my son is going to be blond, I want — ” You’ve got to do it for the reasons you’re talking about, but –
SNYDERMAN: I get the genetic-engineering issue. But the reality is we’ve already jumped out of that with amniocentesis.
SNYDERMAN: So, the science is there. The problem is that science goes faster than we have these societal questions. And that’s exactly why we should have these societal questions now.