Human Exceptionalism

Senators Kennedy and Brownback Team Up

Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) have teamed up to co-author and promote a bill called the “Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Condition Awareness Act.” Stranger political bedfellows could not be found: Kennedy is considered the liberal lion of the Senate whose unequivocal support for abortion rights infuriate pro-lifers, while Brownback is among the most pro-life senators who liberals sometimes castigate as a theocrat. Yet, both agree that parents faced with their children’s prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of disability or serious illness need and deserve sufficient information from which they can make a fully informed decision about how to proceed in the hope, at least, that so informed more parents will choose life for their babies.

Their remedy is S 1810 and it recently passed through committee and hopefully, will soon be on the Senate floor for a vote.

Eugenic abortion is a growing problem in my view, with about 90 percent of gestating infants with Down syndrome, dwarfism, or spina bifida aborted rather than carried to term. The rush to withhold or withdraw medical treatment for newborns with serious disabilities is also a rising risk. The bill will not prohibit eugenic abortion or withdrawing treatment, but if passed it will require that parents receive full and accurate information–not just the negative–about raising children with such conditions in the belief that fewer parents who are fully informed will opt for abortion or withdrawing treatment.

This is a laudable effort and I am planning a more extended article about it. More here when it is published.