Does Prenatal Testing Equal Eugenics?

My colleague and friend Amy Julia Becker had an interesting conversation on her blog earlier this week, in which she and her readers discussed “whether or not those of us with children with Down syndrome should allow abortion into the conversation surrounding prenatal diagnosis.” Most of the people Amy Julia cited in her post, as [Read More...]

For Christians, Gun Control Should Be a No-Brainer. Why Isn’t It?

Again, I awake to news of an inexplicable mass shooting, people gunned down in the most mundane of places, this time a movie theater. Again, I read the same worn arguments from anti-gun control folk, who insist that a legally armed citizen might have stopped alleged gunman James Holmes before he killed a dozen people. [Read More...]

The Scary Side of Noninvasive Prenatal Testing

Will insurance companies someday help bring about a “Gattaca-like two-tiered society, in which parents with good access to health care produce flawless, carefully selected offspring and the rest of us spawn naturals”? Will our government one day require expectant mothers to undergo genetic testing on their fetuses? Will debates over prenatal genetic testing ultimately affect [Read More...]

My Bottom Line on Abortion—and Why I’m Going to Stop Writing About It for a While

Several years ago, as I was just beginning to blog about reproductive ethics, I asked my editor whether I should proactively write about my pro-choice leanings on abortion, or just let the topic arise naturally. I decided on the latter course, in part because I feared that if I wrote explicitly about abortion, the divisive [Read More...]

A Mom Asks Santorum to “Meet My Son”

Presidential contender Rick Santorum recently criticized the Obama administration’s health care reform because it requires provision of free prenatal testing for pregnant women. Santorum stated that, “Free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society.” Responding [Read More...]

“Biblical” Views on Abortion Are Younger Than I Am

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a pro-choice Christian. I’ve paid a price for holding that position and being willing to talk about it. I lost a valued writing job. I’ve been called awful, hateful names by other Christians. I have also received grace and hospitality from Christians who are [Read More...]

Listen to My Interview on NPR

This morning, I was on my local NPR station (WNPR 90.5 in Hartford) as part of a panel of people discussing prenatal screening. We talked about lots of practical issues (the tests available, the process of making decisions around testing, etc.) as well as the stickier ethical and emotional questions that the increasing availability of [Read More...]

Why Prenatal Screening for Gender and for Disabilities are Not the Same

When writing about reproductive ethics, I’m not in the business of telling people what to do. Occasionally, however, I offer my opinion on particular uses of reproductive technology. One practice that I find unacceptable is gender selection of embryos and fetuses for non-medical reasons. (A medical reason for gender selection would be if a family [Read More...]