There seems to be a very obvious inconsistency in supporting abortion rights, then at the same time opposing selective abortion when a disability is detected with prenatal screening (e.g. of Down Syndrome). Yet in many cases this happens, as people who support one are frequently supportive for the other. Another example would be similar to the above, opposing sex-selective abortion (usually when the female sex has been detected). Can an exception be carved out to oppose abortions in such cases that does not rely on a general anti-abortion view?

A standard argument for abortion rights is the body autonomy argument, which says that until birth (or a certain time earlier) there's an absolute right to have an abortion. Conversely, disability rights supporters view selective abortions when a disability is detected to be an inherently anti-disabled (ableist) action which cannot be countenanced, as in their view it means the disabled are lesser beings. A similar argument has been made against sex-selective abortions. Clearly there is a difficulty in reconciling these, at best.

  • Reminds me of a few years ago, there was a new test that could show if a child had down syndrome early in the pregnancy... there was an action group in my country who wanted to ban it...because they didn't want people with down to go extinct... because they make so many people happy :|
    – A.bakker
    Aug 2 '21 at 20:31
  • @A.bakker: Yes, I've heard about that, and in some countries few Down Syndrome children are now born I hear because of it.
    – mcc1789
    Aug 2 '21 at 21:00
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    I'm always reminded of the case of Scott Peterson, currently doing time for the murder of his wife and "unborn baby Conner." You can go to prison for killing a fetus; yet the case took place in strongly pro-choice California. Go figure. The same fetus that's an undiffereniated clump of cells one day, is "unborn baby Conner" the next. There's no logic in the pro-choice position. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Peterson
    – user4894
    Aug 2 '21 at 21:33
  • @user4894: I think that could be argued against. Let's stick to this issue specifically though please.
    – mcc1789
    Aug 2 '21 at 22:23
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    I think you mean that the position the same people who support abortion have is INCONSISTENT rather than a contradiction. If I understand you correctly the angle you seem to get at is MAKE UP YOUR MIND PEOPLE: you can’t allow it and not allow the same act. Either abortion is always allowable without exception or abortion is always wrong to perform. You can’t have exceptions in a rational environment. Having exceptions is more of a power move from a superior done to inferiors. Abortion remains controversial because no one can clearly define what exactly a human being is correctly with no issue.
    – Logikal
    Aug 2 '21 at 22:26

The concept is that a woman should have a choice to abort an early pregnancy, but her decision should not be allowed to be made based on gender of the embryo and certain other traits. As a concept, this is not inconsistent.

It's similar to employers having the right to fire an employee, but not having the right to fire only because the employee has a certain gender, religion, etc.

Or the right of the police to investigate people, but not having the right to select people based on racial traits.

Some justifications for such views might have inconsistent logic, but that's very subjective and not a good topic for this forum, unless a particular justification were to be discussed (such as decisions by a supreme court or a philosophic author).

  • 1
    That's consistent, certainly, but so far I have yet to see it justified. In any case, I've often seen people making the arguments with no mention of the issue (e.g. the same person advocating abortion rights then protesting selective abortions of female fetuses with no acknowledgment that there might be an inconsistency, let alone showing why there is an exception).
    – mcc1789
    Aug 3 '21 at 1:53

So, to add another perspective here...

Most of the talk has centered around it's a woman's body, it should be left up to her, which I agree with...but what if we looked at it like "is this disability so bad that being dead is the better alternative?" from my own personal experience (which I do have), 99% of the time is no (now there are always exceptions, my point being the case that it's the vast majority).

There is such a stigma with having a disability, rarely, if ever, is it brought forth in a positive light, but the thought that not existing could possibly be better than having a disability baffles me.

Now if a mother wants to abort her child if they have a disability, well, I don't think we can find anyone qualified to answer that. I know my opinion on the subject, but that's irrelevant, as it's only value is to myself.

  • Yes, that also seems like a rare case to me. Certainly not in the cases of things like Down Syndrome. Now, that doesn't mean that bans in such a case would be right (not to mention effective). At the very least though it seems like something doctors shouldn't encourage (as it seems many do).
    – mcc1789
    Aug 10 '21 at 20:12

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