Is it immoral to abort a fetus that has down syndrome?

Why or why not?

Only if it’s immoral to terminate a fetus with up syndrome.


How do you give a fetus down syndrome…?

Tell the mother to do a handstand.

I think you’ll find it’s ‘Downs’ syndrome. [Named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866.]

And to save a long argument, it’ll boil down to “Mother’s body, mother’s choice” in the end. I’ll bet you three dried foreskins and some powdered angel bones it will.

Um, why are we isolating Down’s Syndrome fetuses? Is this a different case than other fetuses?

Could be. A more specific, and maybe just as relevant question is, “is it immoral to abort a fetus because it has down’s syndrome?” Of course for it to be relevant it would require someone that is generally okay with abortion but not okay with Down’s Syndrome caused abortion to be in existence. Such a person may have a child with down’s syndrome, have down’s syndrome, or really like the special Olympics and big hugs. A person endeared in such away to Down’s syndrome individuals may find that a woman’s right to body, while morally robust, does not have the wherewithal to trump the viciousness of aborting a fetus just because it lacks cognitive faculties and possesses enhanced strength and good humour.

Or, alternatively, someone may find abortion morally repugnant in general, but be of the opinion that it is a greater evil to knowingly burden their family in such a way, or bring an individual into the world whose unique needs that are incapable of meeting.

Yeah, I know, Sitt. I was just being a peckerhead.

Really this is a hypothetical dilemma concerning the moral consistency of a mother considering abortion.

It focuses in on the morality (like Sittlichkeit said) of choosing to abort the baby based on desirability where usually the moral argument for abortion stems from capability.

Should* you be able to abort a child with Downs syndrome because you want a healthier baby?

Should you be able to abort a baby because it’s not the right gender?.. etc…

Note*: should in this refers to the consistency or inconsistency of the implied moral perspective of the mother (and or in part, the father).

One thing about morality is that when one thing relates to another, incnosistency can lead to classic cognitive dissionance: guilt. We have to map out the entire issue of abortion if you want to make a statement about specifics…

A good starting question: Is abortion ever justifiable?

This question reminds me of a recollection of Nietzsche’s from somewhere I could identify if I hadn’t mis-lended my Portable N. some many years ago, which had to do with his making note of a conversation in reference to some floozy, of whom some acquaintance remarked of her immorality, and Nietzsche reflected that, no, she was actually extremely moral.

It is extremely moral to abort a foetus marked with Down’s genetic signature. I think this belies the heart of how one might perceive a genuine conception of “morality”. And I speak, for those of you who haven’t been sufficiently belaboured (I often feel my self-referentiation on this point might come accross that way, perhaps rightfully so) on this point, as someone who has known quite a number of persons with that particular chromosonal patternation, mind you.

It is not, that is, a matter of generalizable right/wrong. Both the tragedies and the elations which occur to families who have members with severe abnormal human variants in their midsts are not merely difficult to measure and compare. Given a given couple, with a particular patternation of strengths and weaknesses, and allowing for the fact that we all in such instances occupy a position veiled by ignorance, would, as would any one else, witness such a decision-making circumstance, with sorrow and wonder.

Sorrow can be sweet, and wonder can be a chasm of terror. Many relationships which sire idiots, morons, retards, mentally handicapped, mentally disabled, mentally challenged, developmentally impaired, and otherwise significantly economically negative persons, have broken up in dispair. Of the six early adolescent severe special needs students I presently teach as my living, none live with their parents. To be aware of reality in advance, in such situations, is an extremely moral circumstance.

It is as extremely moral to abort a “person” with Down’s syndrome as it is not to abort such a cellular conjunction.

Morality occurs where answers don’t. At least when it’s worth its salt.

I see, that whole post was so I could say “special Olympics and big hugs…enhanced strength”. So I fear I may be the one who is the peckerhead. You make the call.

I’m not a big fan of abortion, but I was watching this thing on the O’reilly Factor with Sarah Palin on her son, Trig, being called a ‘retard’ in a recent Family Guy episode and how inappropriate and offensive it was to her and the mentally challenged community, but I just find it really difficult to feel sorry for the woman and her kids because of how stupid she is herself. She wouldn’t be in that situation if she took into consideration that statistically the closer you are to age 40 during pregnancy the higher the rate of complications like Down syndrome are. As for Bristol’s infamous teen pregnancy, maybe Ms. Palin will learn from her last mistake and allow her younger daughter the use of contraception. Morality can often get in the way of common sense, so in some situations abortion, like euthanasia, is an acceptable and smart way to avoid unnecessary hardships as much as it may seem wrong to do.

Looking at the title of this thread, it seems that there is an implied assumption that we have the right to make that decision for others. Really? Are you sure?

It makes little difference what your particular moral judgements might be - for yourself. But you might have a teensy problem telling me what my morals have to be. You could end up with a knot on your head.

Abortion, the practice of infanticide, the selling of children into sexual slavery, and a host of other ugly practices aimed at the defensless are a mind wrenching decision for any normal human. Only the woman has to bear the consequences of her decision. Everyone else needs to stay the hell out of that decision making process.

The difference between selling children into sexual slavery and abortion, ofcourse, is that in the former case I break into Jim-Bob’s sex trafficing house in the middle of the night, shoot him in the back of the head, and then sleep like a baby. Not only that, but I admit to it, and no jury in America will put me in jail for even an hour. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t consider my actions in this hypothetical case moral, it’s just a practical compulsion. Whereas, in the case of abortion, I feel nothing, and the argument against it is metaphysical and religious, and whatever motivation one has to stop the practice is a religious motivation. Which is, as you point out, probably not a legitimate reason to interfere with other people’s actions.

I suppose this is all pointless though, as if you don’t feel the difference and understand it already, then words really cannot even pick out what the difference is to begin with.

Only foetuses with serious problems should be considered for abortion after the quickening (unless there is danger to the mother- eg would require a caesarian section etc), and Downs syndrome counts as a serious problem.

Is it contrary to established moral principles?
That depends; the individual’s, or the societies?

Is it going to corrupt, or result in corruption, to abort a fetus that has downs syndrome; does the act destroy or weaken the honesty or integrity of anyone involved?
That depends on the individuals involved and whether they have moral principles contrary to this act in which their conscience will guilt itself over.

Does it not conform to accepted standards of social or professional behavior?
In which social group, of what standards?

It’s as if we just asked: Is it incorrect to cut a length of fabric, that is tattered, at half a yard in length?

Abortion is a mother’s choice as is raising that child. At what point should the public become involved in parental decisions such as this? When that fetus will most likely grow up to be dependent upon public assistance, then the public has the right to choose abortion or life.

So if a 14 year old African-American girl that lives and grew up in the projects of Detroit is having a kid, I can vote on whether to abort that kid or not?

Why not? Its your tax money that will support her and that fetus if it is carried to full term. If your money supports a person do you not have a right to have some rights on how things go? You are not giving them a loan, you are paying for their existence. Would you rather have your taxes go to supporting a child or aborting a fetus? Say you have a family of your own if you do not have to support someone else that means more money for your family or for something else the government needs it for. Something that will benifit society on a whole not just one person.

Why not?

Because money is not half the value of life.
Life can only be taken by life.

This is why it is the mother’s choice.
Because it is her life in trade for the other life.

My taking of that life is not balanced.
I may as well start arming the nuke’s to take out any impoverished country in the world that will only bear populations that will need relief programs our government spends money on relieving.
I may as well start killing off everyone that is adult and falls onto public welfare.

That is your right to do as you wish since it is your money that supports her and that fetus. What right does she have to foist another mouth on to an already deficit Government? Money that could go into many other things. Does she have the right to demand money from others? Does she have the right to make people work two jobs ,break their backs because taxes have increased due to her desire to give birth? When does the citizen have a responsibility to its society? Never? You may want to pay for that child but others may not. The majority rules so which ever holds the majority is the will of the people. In this economy people tend to lean towards nongenerousity even when it comes to life. It is far cheaper to abort than to put a child through school, clothe it and feed it for 18 yrs, especially when they have their own. The only thing that saves that child is religion. Let the churches pay for it not my tax money. Sorry to sound harsh but, i cannot stand to see more and more life brought into an already strapped system. I love kids i would have a hard time aborting a baby but, if I could not care for the child myself then it would be utterly foolish and totally selfish to force others to pay for it. I would be morally wrong, a thief.

How could any consideration of government occupy our thinking in a way that even touches the importance of a hungry mouth. Government is at best an afterthought, and at worst it doesn’t warrant any consideration whatsoever, in the face of something as practical as a hungry mouth. The consideration set up as “I am being forced to feed someone else” is profoundly selfish, bordering on narcissistic. Among all things, considering the sheer amount of waste we abide, considering the sheer amount of things we do not consider waste, the decision to focus on the denial of individual people’s basic needs or even to see them as a burden on a system, rather than seeing the problem of meeting their needs as the problem itself, is a disgusting fetishism.

Fuck morality, fuck definitions of “thief”, if someone is hungry you feed them. If their is a problem with feeding them, then their is a fundamental problem with the way our society is organized and you fix it, you don’t attack them.

Life itself is not owned by money.