Down the Eugenics Road

MARY MEEHAN

October 21, 1992|By MARY MEEHAN

ROCKVILLE — Rockville.--It is depressing to look at the abortion section of Maryland telephone books and see how the taking of human life is already routinized and commercialized in our state.

''Military Discount'' and ''Student Discount,'' says one abortion ad. ''Parental Consent Not Required,'' says another. Many note ''Se Habla Espanol'' and say that they accept credit cards. One or two advertise abortions ''up to 24 weeks.'' If the new law is approved in the November referendum, will we then see ''Abortions Up to 28 Weeks''? Or 30?

There is no one more poor and defenseless than the unborn child. No one. She has no money, no power, no way to hire lawyer. She is totally at the mercy of those much larger than herself, those who do have power. She cannot even cry out for mercy.

Why in the world are liberals deploying vast reserves of money, power and volunteers against these helpless children? And how can they do it in the name of ''rights''? A right is a just claim. You have no right to my death, much less to the death of your own child. As the Libertarians for Life keep stressing, parents bring their children into existence and, therefore, have a special obligation to protect them.

Justice and compassion cannot be turned off and on like a water faucet. Legislators have turned them off to permit abortion as a ''solution'' for social and personal problems. They shouldn't now be surprised by news stories about children who are badly neglected and abused -- and babies left in trash cans and dumpsters.

For that matter, they shouldn't be surprised that so many people are turning to homicide to solve other problems. They are learning to use it as young parents to solve the problem of unwanted children (instead of learning to love the children).

It is disturbing that so much of the drive for abortion is conducted under the label of feminism. Early American feminists -- including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alice Paul -- were against abortion. (There was also a strong peace element in early feminism. Some of our foremothers would be shocked to see feminists today campaigning for women in combat. ''The problem,'' they would say, ''is to get men out of combat, not to put women in.'')

A large part of today's feminism has gone off the rails, and the resulting wreckage is hurting both women and children. It was a terrible mistake, and a great injustice, to place women in an adversary relationship with their own children. Women who are aware of historic wrongs done to them should not turn around and oppress another group.

And they certainly should not practice double discrimination, with the greatest danger reserved for the disabled unborn. This is a stunning contradiction of disability rights. The new Maryland law allows open hunting season until birth on children with Down Syndrome, spina bifida, sickle-cell anemia or any other serious disability.

It allows abortion until birth for any ''genetic defect.'' Many people think homosexuality is a genetic defect. If it's found to have a genetic component, a prenatal test will undoubtedly be invented to detect it and children will be aborted for sexual orientation. Once you start down the eugenics road, it is hard to turn back.

The 1968 Maryland abortion law is nothing to boast about, but at least it has some restrictions on abortion. The new law is far worse. Vote ''Against'' Question 6. Defend those who cannot defend themselves.

Mary Meehan is a member of Feminists for Life.

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