Frequently, people with disabilities like Down syndrome are used as a reason to keep abortion legal throughout pregnancy. But those people are living, breathing human beings who can hear politicians, doctors, and abortion proponents discussing their condition as unworthy of life. And in some cases, people with disabilities are dehumanized entirely, as was recently the case when abortionist Dr. Malcolm Potts spoke of aborting human beings with Down syndrome.
In an online debate with pro-life apologist Stephanie Gray Connors, Potts argued that since “many embryos are abnormal” and there are “natural, necessary processes” of “destroying those embryos in very large numbers” (meaning miscarriage), aborting any that do survive “is to enhance what nature does.” Most of his remarks on this topic run from 22:00 to 27:00 in the video below:
Essentially, Potts believes that nature made a mistake and missed the opportunity to naturally abort an embryo with Down syndrome, and aborting those children simply rights an error.
“Abortion is a way in which nature — Darwinian evolution — deals with abnormalities,” he stated. “A common abnormality is to have three identical chromosomes instead of two. So Down syndrome — you have three copies of chromosome 17. Most Down syndrome are spontaneously aborted. One or two are not. If a woman asks me to do what nature failed to do and she wishes it, I will, with great comfort, abort a Down syndrome when it’s been diagnosed in a pregnant woman if she wants it. I see abortion as a necessary healing process.”
Potts sees the survival of these individuals as a mistake, even referring to a human being with Down syndrome as “a Down syndrome” instead of as an actual human being. He uses dehumanizing words, masking the humanity of human beings — and even compares killing them to the use of antibiotics.
“As a doctor, if someone has pneumonia and their immune system is not keeping up with it, I will prescribe an antibiotic,” he said. “If they have an abnormal baby and they wish to have an abortion, I will give them a medical abortion. To me, it is the same basic ethic that all, I think, physicians have.”
But human beings — inside the womb or out — are not bacteria or viruses. They are innocent human beings, existing in their mothers’ wombs through no action of their own. Denying their humanity does not change that. It simply shows the lack of compassion that must exist in order to work as an abortionist.
To be successful at abortion and at aborting preborn children facing a prenatal diagnosis, abortionists like Potts must stick to that script that denies humanity, and sadly, it has worked. Sixty-seven percent of babies who are diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome are aborted. Doctors often deliver the diagnosis in a cruel and uninformed way. Parents are pressured repeatedly to abort, and some have been told they can abort right up until the baby has “started traveling down the birth canal.”
Several years ago, The Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network launched a campaign called “#DearDoctor,” which exposed how diagnoses are delivered to parents. One mother, Kathleen Simpkins, wrote that the doctor did not call her preborn daughter “she” but “it.”
“Did you think before you spoke? Did you pause for just a bit? Though you knew my daughter’s sex [y]ou referred to her as ‘it,'” she said. “‘It’ was ‘likely abnormal.’ ‘Just can try again’ you said. Then you listed off the reasons why [o]ur girl was better off dead.”
People with Down syndrome do not deserve the death sentence because they were strong enough to survive what Potts considers nature’s ‘screening process’ of miscarriage. They are human beings with as much of a right to exist as anyone else.
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