Eliminating the imperfect

handIn May 1967, the Standing Committee on Health and Welfare was formed. This federal Committee was charged with considering bills on abortion among other things and to hear representations from interested parties on the issue. The committee considered three private members’ bills. One of these bills was presented by NDP member of Parliament Grace MacInnis. Ms. MacInnis’ bill proposed that abortion be allowed in certain certain circumstances, one of these being the possibility of a “defective” child.

Lawyer David Dehler mentions in his book, The new Canadian Ethic: Kill our Unborn Canadians, an exchange between Ms. MacInnis and Liberal committee member Joe O’Keefe from Newfoundland:

“Grace MacInnis said some interesting things many Canadians never heard or have forgotten. Ideas echoing the new society she would build in Canada. After presenting her bill, she was questioned by another member of the Committee, Joseph O’Keefe, whose liberalism was still controlled by the wisdom of his background…
Here’s how it went:
“Mr. O’Keefe: I notice no concern at all, Mrs. MacInnis, in either your bill or your comments, for the rights of unborn babies. You refer to monstrosities and “these beings”. Are you not aware that deformed babies have been born who have turned out to be geniuses? Steinmetz is a glaring example, but I shall have a long list pretty soon. Would you deprive these babies of life?

Mrs. MacInnis: I have said that I would have this legislation on a permissive basis. Where people believe that it is better to produce a monstrosity with the danger, or the likelihood, or the chance of its possibly becoming a genius, I would not interfere with this.

Mr. O’Keefe: And who do you think should make this decision?
Mrs. Macinnis: I think that the mother should have the right to make that decision in consultation with or under the jurisdiction of two qualified medical practitioners.

Mr. O’Keefe: Do you not think the community has an interest?

Mrs MacInniss: The community in my view has an interest in normal human beings, and in getting the best quality and kind of people it can.

Mr. O’Keefe: And not in deformed human beings?

Mrs. MacInnis: Right.”

Others have held views similar to Mrs. MacInnis, that some babies ought not to be allowed to be born because of disabilities. They see it as a good to kill before birth those who do not measure up to their standards of normality as they build their brave new world.
Some even support the killing of such babies after birth. Eugenic thinking is alive and well in modern society and often disguised as compassion. We are told  that in aborting the baby, he or she is being spared a terrible existence.

Australian writer and researcherMelinda Tankard Reist documents in her book Defiant birth: Women who resist medical eugenics, the pressures faced by pregnant women carrying a child with disabilities.

Today, in our new world, it is estimated that 80 to 90% of pregnancies where a possibility of Down’s syndrome is found by testing, end in abortion.

Canadian Abby Lippman has said:

“Though the word ‘eugenics’ is scrupulously avoided in most biomedical reports about prenatal diagnosis, except where it is strongly disclaimed as a motive for intervention, this is disingenuous. Prenatal diagnosis presupposes that certain fetal conditions are intrinsically not bearable.(Abby Lippman, 1991,pp.24-25)  as reported in Tankard Reist, Melinda. Defiant birth: women who resist medical eugenics, 2006, p.43.

Sadly, prenatal screening and genetic testing have become for some, tools to eliminate those they deem unworthy of living.

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