Across the U.S. and around the world, unborn babies are being aborted because they don't live up to the expectations of their parents or society. They are deemed unworthy, or as the Nazis would say, "Life unworthy of life." Mothers carrying children who have been diagnosed prenatally with everything from Down syndrome to cystic fibrosis to a cleft palate are choosing to abort these children rather than give birth to them.

Statistically Speaking

The true statistics are hard to find, thanks to the paperwork skills of doctors who cite the reason for these abortions as necessary for the health and life of the mother, or due to the extreme abnormalities of the child that are deemed incompatible with life. Despite the lack of detailed reports, it is widely believed and accepted that 90% of children with Down syndrome will never see the light of day, feel the love of their mother's arms, or be given the chance to prove that their lives are in fact worth living.

It isn't just children with Down syndrome who are at risk. Kaiser Permanente admitted to the New York Times that 95% of its patients in Northern California have chosen to abort children that have tested positive for cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition which clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections and obstructs the pancreas, keeping the body from breaking down and absorbing nutrients. These percentages are shocking, especially since the life expectancy for a person with CF has risen dramatically since the 1960s, from age eight to age 37, and those with Down syndrome are now living into their 50s.

New Technology

Thanks to the development of ultrasensitive and noninvasive prenatal testing, more and more parents are opting to test for certain conditions in pregnancy as these tests become more readily available. And these advancements lead to serious ethical questions regarding the right to life. In 2001 in Britain, where abortion is illegal after the 24th week unless that child has a substantial risk of suffering from a serious physical or mental abnormality, an unborn 28-week-old child was aborted due to the discovery that the child had a cleft lip and palate. A cleft palate is not seriously debilitating, and is even fixable through surgery. There's always risk involved with life. Does that make life not worth living? The further we advance, the less human compassion we seem to have.

The Scary Truth

What is truly infuriating is that while the doctors are diagnosing these unborn babies, the only option they are giving parents the majority of the time is abortion. Eugenic abortion. Help and support are not offered in all cases, and many parents are left feeling that they are doing their child a disservice to allow her to be born with a potential disability. Parents are simply left uneducated about their child's condition.

These advancements in early diagnostic testing should be used to prepare and educate parents, not to guilt them into aborting their child in an attempt to make a "perfect" world full of "perfect" people. The truth is aborting these children is less about fears for the child's quality of life and more about a doctor's (and liberal society's) belief that the child will be a drain on the medical system, as well as the parents' unwillingness to raise a child who will require extra care.

The Future Is Now

As a society, we have been duped into believing that if we can avoid having a child with a disability, we should do so at all costs. We are made to believe that it is in the best interest of the child. Abortion has become the expected answer to not just the inconvenience of a child with a disability, but to the punishment of a child who is conceived unexpectedly.

Additional technologies that were once just the subject of futuristic movies such as Gattaca are now real. Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a prime example of this. We can now choose from a Petri dish which of our children we will allow to live based on whether or not they have the abilities and traits we want them to have. We can choose the child without the genetic condition we carry, the child without the high risk of developing breast cancer, or the child who is the girl we wanted to have rather than the boy. We have become a new version of Hitler, deciding who gets to live based on the traits we think are best.

It is discrimination. Discrimination in a country that screams aloud that diversity is beautiful. There is no beauty in the inability to accept human differences. It is nothing short of ugly and gut wrenching. I feel compelled to note that while we are so busy trying to rid the world of people with different abilities, those born through IVF have an increased risk of birth defects than those conceived naturally.

The Underlying Issue

Despite the obvious discrimination of children with disabilities, in a country in which no unborn child has the right to life, how can we expect anyone to allow unborn children with disabilities the ability to live? Hitler was notorious for killing those he didn't think were worthy of living, including children with disabilities. He wanted what he decided was the perfect race, and here we are doing the same.

For Expectant Parents

If you or someone close to you is pregnant and their unborn child has been diagnosed with a health condition or disability, there is help.