Human Exceptionalism

George Will on Desire to Wipe People With Down Syndrome Off the Face of the Earth

A little while back, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urged that every pregnant woman be tested to see if her fetus has Down syndrome. I did not comment on it at the time, having written quite a bit recently about the ongoing anti-Down pogrom. But George Will now has. And he has a personal stake in the issue, which we must all remember, is, according to many pundits, the essential factor that gives one moral authority to opine.

Will’s son Jon has Down, and he begins with a piquant question: “What did Jon Will and the more than 350,000 American citizens like him do to tick off the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists?” He later answers his rhetorical query: The policy seems intended to “have the effect of increasing abortions in the service of an especially repulsive manifestation of today’s entitlement mentality—every parent’s ‘right’ to a perfect baby.” I would say that is just the surface issue. Beneath it, lurks the emergence of a new eugenics that judges the moral worth of people based on their lives’ perceived quality.

And it won’t end there, of course. Will points out that “as more is learned about genetic components of other abnormalities, search-and-destroy missions will multiply.”

Read Will’s entire column. He humanizes Jon, which is precisely what is needed in this time when the intrinsic value of human life is under accelerating assault.