Of mice and men and intelligence genes

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at SPAMosu.edu
Mon Sep 6 09:25:06 MDT 1999

Andy to Carrol:
>However, while I reiterate that I oppose any restriction on individuals
>choosing abortion, it is a different situation when pregnancy would be
>carried to term *if but for* the sex or race, etc. of the fetus. The
>question now includes the status of the fetus. For example, we should be
>concerned when cultural oppression forces women to abort female fetuses in
>the same way we should be concerned about FGM and a host of other
>restrictions on or violations of women's freedom.

There was a related thread on lbo recently; allow me to repost a dialogue
between Marta and me.  I hope she won't mind the repost.     Yoshie

Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
> Marta:
> >I support abortion but take the Adrienne Asche's position that it
>crosses the
> >line when one aborts because one does not like the characteristic of the
> >(sex, disability, hair color, whatever else they will know about us in the
> >womb) rather than having the abortion because the conditions in one's life
> >makes that choice necessary to abort ANY fetus.  This way I challenge
> >assumptions about disablement as one would challenge the assumption that
> >having
> >a boy is more desirable than having a girl.  I realize many many people view
> >disability as a primary reason to abort. Trouble is the more market oriented
> >our society becomes, the less willing parents are to have a non "perfect"
> >baby.
> We may ask what causes an abortion based upon the knowledge of the
> condition of a fetus.  The causes must be two-fold: (1) material (under
> social conditions where parenting is a very much private affair, it takes
> more of everything -- time, money, and other resources -- to raise a
> disabled child); and (2) ideological (disabled persons are often regarded
> as less than fully human, and certainly unequal to non-disabled persons.
> The removal of these two causes must make any possible conflict between
> women's right to abortion and disability rights (as you conceive of it)
> disappear.

I don't extend disability rights to abortion.  If I did I would be arguing for
civil rights for the fetus.  I am not, I am arguing for disability education of
would be parents, attendant support services (which should also be made
to parents of children with disabilities), universal health coverage that
coverage for disabled infants who may have been diagnosed in the womb as
having a
disability and therefore subject to pre-existing condition health care
(yes, it has happened), etc.   But otherwise, I would tend to agree that your
suggestions would level the playing field re disablement and abortion decisions
that people make.

> I think of the question of sex-selective abortion in favor of males in the
> same manner.  In a society where men are not regarded as more valuable
> (materially and ideologically), sex selection in favor of men won't take
> place.

In a society where disabled people were the ones with the money (as opposed to
being on the bottom of the economic ladder), there would probably be very
skew because money does translate into social and institutional power which
influence what people think.


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