Santorum, Peter Singer and “culling.”

February 19, 2012 at 2:01 PM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Thanks so much for making me feel squeezed this morning /snark.I’m feeling goddamned stuck in the middle between the utilitarian streak of some on the left, [Peter Singer and his, “Well a disabled child isn’t really a person,” remark on Chris Hayes show a few months ago comes to mind.] and nutcases like Santorum.

Evidently Santorum made the argument earlier today that the reason prematal testing is part of the Affordable Care Act is to cull people with disabilities out of existence. There are so many vital reasons for prenatal testing….he cannot concieve of more than one outcome after a genetic test. Whatever.

We’re smart enough to know Santorum is being vile, using this for political expediency. He, like every conservative today is talking out of both sides of his mouth. “Save the babies!” on the one hand, and “never pay for their care!” on the other. Not that there isn’t a genuine left utilitarian streak that PWDs have to fight all the time.

Uses of prenatal testing need to be discussed, and not in Santorum’s context. It needs to be discussed to avoid PWD invisibility on the issue.

I state categorically that I would never presume to “argue” with any woman who chose to terminate on the basis of disability alone. I wouldn’t know enough about the circumstances that caused her to do so. In general, I am against, seriously against, terminating on the basis of disability alone, but it isn’t my place to impose what I think on another woman faced with this, and there are individual cases (no brain at all?, etc) where I think I’d step out of my general opposition)

However,

When a pregnancy is terminated for disability alone, there is sometimes, depending on the condition involved, an unavoidable message sent.

“We want a perfect society. We don’t want you.”
“We’re uncomfortable around you. You remind us of our own mortality.”

“We don’t believe in our own ability to handle a child child with disabilities.” (IMO this is a really sad one. I’ve seen so many handle what they did not think they could, and be glad.)

Or the one that both the left and right use.

“I/We can’t afford it.”

I’d imagine my parents, Steven Hawking’s parents, Maysoon Zaid’s parents, might have had thoughts like that.

Those arguments like to be couched on the left sometimes as against the mother.

They aren’t. They are against being devalued. They are against giving anybody any leg to stand on to cut existing supports for us.

But it’s also important to point out the dumbestassery of all of any of the Rightward folks that talk about this in terms of “culling.” They cull, themselves. All the time. Every time cuts in Medicare or Medicaid are done. When the health care industry puts profit ahead of care.

When they cut Medicaid in Alabama for persons over 21 years of age, ventilator dependent quadriplegics died. Or had to flee the state.

When a pharmaceutical company didn’t self correct in a timely manner *in the name of profit* they allegedly may have caused my husband’s death and the death of many like him.

Call Santorum on the vileness of the remark, absolutely,

but lefties, clean your own utilitarian house too.

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2 Comments

  1. Gary Presley said,

    It is happening, though, isn’t it? Check the statistics on babies-in-womb with Down Syndrome being aborted.

    Whatever liberalism’s views on social issues in the immediate sense, I don’t think many progressive thinkers are cognizant of unintended consequences. Consider the Down Syndrome issue noted above. Consider also the “selective” abortion of one twin in womb for reasons not related to the baby-in-womb’s health.

    I think we’ll see it first in China and other places where female infanticide and abortion of female babies are common practice. Socio-biology suggests dominate-male societies are far more aggressive and war-like.

    That’s simply one issue. Singer and his ilk are expressing the same intellectual hubris about biology as it influences society — granted, of an entirely different order — that led the Bush-Cheney administration to believe they could impose democracy by force in Iraq.

    • imfunny2 said,

      Whatever liberalism’s views on social issues in the immediate sense, I don’t think many progressive thinkers are cognizant of unintended consequences. Consider the Down Syndrome issue noted above. Consider also the “selective” abortion of one twin in womb for reasons not related to the baby-in-womb’s health.

      Yes, absolutely.

      And I find it amazing that when this sort of angle is brought up, liberals have told me two things today.

      “Culling is a moral choice,” and that the disability side of the issue “shouldn’t be discussed.” What?

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