At the young age of 11 years old, I will never forget the images of the Dachau concentration camp that my family and I visited while on vacation in Germany. The memorial set up on the site of the camp was somber and the hollow silence on the grounds will never leave my memory. As a young girl, I learned the important lesson of evil. At the time, my young mind couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of terror Hitler reigned on millions of people but I did understand the scope of joy in the beauty of life and the freedom provided to me in my own country.
It is hard to imagine that a man and his regime would want to wipe out a population of people who he deemed an unfit race. However, Hitler was not alone in his plan and many in both the medical and science professions helped to bring about his extermination of Jews and his eugenics movement to create the perfect society. The Nazi Eugenics Program is well documented and the sterilization of thousands was court ordered so that those that were deemed hereditarily ill were never given the opportunity to pro-create.
Fast forward several decades and now I am witnessing a 21st century type of eugenics that is being played out in advances from modern science and abortion while being justified in our courts. Last week, a couple from Washington was awarded $50 million dollars in a “wrongful birth” settlement. Brock and Rhea Wuth sued Valley Medical Center and the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) when they discovered their son was born with a genetic defect that should have been detected in their prenatal screening. The Lab failed to properly screen for the specific inherited genetic defect and had the Wuths been given that information they would have aborted their child. In March of 2012, a couple from Oregon were awarded $3 million dollars in a “wrongful birth” settlement after their daughter was born with Down syndrome. The couple had the prenatal screening to detect the chromosomal abnormality but the lab results failed. The couple would have aborted their child had they been given the correct lab results.
With the genetic testing in prenatal screening, a woman can find out if her child will have a disability such as Down syndrome, Cystic fibrosis or a number of mental or physical challenges. Studies are now even advancing where autism might be detected within the womb. Now medical science can determine if women carry the BRCA2 gene mutation or the “breast cancer gene” and, perhaps, soon will be able screen their unborn daughters for the mutation. The future of a child and his or her hereditary illness is now being carefully measured and deemed worth the cost of life. Medical technology is allowing a voluntary eugenics in the name of “choice in abortion”. Parents are choosing whether their children are worth life or are unfit for society and the courts are justifying this determination.
Is it extreme to write about Hitler and the horrific evils of Nazi, Germany with today’s prenatal testing of the unborn? Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, stated in her article from Birth Control Review: “More children from the fit, less from the unfit- that is the chief aim of birth control.” For over 40 years since Roe v. Wade, an estimated 55 million babies have been aborted. There may not be any physical evidence of systematic extermination in this country like the example of Dachau, Germany but millions are being murdered and medical science is partly to blame.
There are wonderful and life- saving advances that have come from prenatal testing. Advances from the medical field have sustained life and have added great value to our society. However, when medical science determines which hereditary “defect” is deemed appropriate for abortion services- that is eugenics. With the advances in medical technology and the unknown future of Obamacare, where will our society be in protecting the rights and dignity of human life? Perhaps it is time in the pro-life community to not only stand for the sanctity of life among the abortion activists but within the medical community as well.
History has proven the depravity of man and as a young girl (on that vacation in Germany) I became aware of what the power of evil is capable of. It might not be behind barbed wire fences anymore or from a government regime but in the mind-set of a society that we are justified in determining who is fit or unfit for life itself. A society that awards money to parents because they would prefer their children were dead. However, I still hold on to the understanding that all human life has dignity and there is great joy for those who nurture and protect the sanctity of life.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalms 139:13-16)