Commentary: Abortion is not valid genetic control

(Photo: Chepko Danil Vitalevich / Bigstock)

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Cystic fibrosis kills everyone it afflicts, so I was intrigued about the decline of CF in the French region of Brittany. One of my children has this disease, so I’m very interested in a cure. I wondered how we could apply the French methods in America to decrease the disease here, too.

Dan Smith 130Dan SmithI had no way of knowing the horror I was about to uncover.

Cystic fibrosis affects many organs in the body, but the patient’s life expectancy is shortened most due to damage caused to the lungs. The average life span of a CF sufferer is around 40 years, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation reports

Unfortunately, the cases of CF in Brittany aren’t dropping by accident.

“We show, in this study, that the birth incidence of CF has dropped in our area following the implementation of prenatal diagnosis,” reported Virginie Scotet and six colleagues in an article in the Journal of Rare Diseases.

That answer is so clinical—so sterile. The drop occurred once humans learned how to predict if a fetus has CF. The Scotet study reports 35.8 percent of CF children were aborted on the sole basis of the prenatal diagnosis of cystic fibrosis. Not allowed to live. Killed in the womb.

Abortion-as-genetic-control doesn’t apply only to cystic fibrosis, either.

Parents “now take part in both premarital and prenatal testing, and even though every one in five pregnancies is abnormal, they can determine which embryos carry two copies of the same mutation and choose to terminate,” author Christine Kenneally notes in The Invisible History of the Human Race: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and our Futures. This is in regards to Samaritans who can suffer from a wide array of genetic conditions.

None of us wants to pass on bad genes to our children. According to the world’s point of view, however, the answer is this: “Doctors can test a fetus early in pregnancy and terminate it if it carries the mutation,” Kenneally says of Huntington’s disease.

The sickening truth about the world’s fight against genetic disease is to terminate the fetus, just like a surgeon might cut out a cancerous tumor.

Our genetic decision

My wife, Alicia, and I were surprised to find out she was pregnant with our third child. We had decided long before to stop trying for additional children after our second child was born with CF. In the first meeting with her physician, we were encouraged to test our “fetus” for CF, since our daughter had the disease.

After explaining the risks involved, we declined.

I’m not better than anyone who has had an abortion. The sins they struggle with are not the sins I struggle with and vice versa. Ending the life of a baby is not a sin I struggle with.

The vast majority of humans would not kill their newborn babies, even if they found out immediately after birth that the child had a crippling disease. We learned our daughter had cystic fibrosis a mere 14 days after her birth. Even the most heartless human would have trouble killing a child at that age.

So, to sidestep that problem, humans kill the baby when it’s a fetus. This is the sad reality of abortion-as-genetic-control.

Making abortion irrelevant

Baptists must make abortion irrelevant.

In tackling an issue like genetic disease, we can show the world abortion is not the answer, while providing smart solutions, such as genetic testing for young couples before they begin having children and pursuing actual cures to genetic conditions.

By helping people test for their genetic conditions before they get married or have children, we allow them the opportunity to make sound decisions before a life is irreparably damaged or destroyed. Through finding cures to the various genetic diseases, we show that there is another way.

I wouldn’t have given my daughter up for the world if we had known she was going to go through the myriad of treatments and hospital visits. Instead, we work to find a cure by supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and raising awareness through talking to people about CF, my writing, etc.

Alicia and I hope for a world wherein our energy is focused on fighting the disease at the molecular level, not fighting against the babies who carry it.

Dan Smith is a freelance writer living with his wife, Alicia, and their three children in Jacksonville, Fla. He can be found on Facebook and on Twitter by searching @Navychristian.

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