Stillbirths and Eugenics

12/04/2013 / blog posts 

downsbabyAfter decades of decline, stillbirth rates have increased steadily in recent years and seven British Columbia researchers attempted to find out why. This past week the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a new study titled, “Determinants of increases in stillbirth rates from 2000 to 2010”. While the phenomenon of stillbirth has been experienced in many Western nations, the seven researchers decided to use data from British Columbia for their study.

Among other things, the main finding was that, due to advances in prenatal screening, there has been a marked increase in late-term abortions.

Stillbirths are defined as the loss, either spontaneously (naturally) or through abortion, of a fetus after 20 weeks gestation or a fetus weighing more than 500 grams.

The study indicates that while the overall stillbirth rate has increased by 31%, from 8.08 per 1000 total births in 2000 to 10.55 in 2010, the rate of spontaneous stillbirths had actually decreased by 16% in that same time period. This shows that late-term abortions are the sole contributor to the huge increase in the number of deaths recorded as stillbirths.

The results of this study are concerning; they give us a window into what extent eugenics has become part of Western society again.

It is only a short one hundred years ago that eugenicists in Britain and the United States began putting their ideas into practice. As they strove to create a perfect society, the weak, blind and disabled were sterilized and institutionalized to prevent them from pro-creating. These ideas soon proved fatal as the Nazis took eugenics to the next level by killing their own disabled citizens as a means of preventing weak genes from entering the human race.

When the horrors of the Holocaust became public in the 1940s, eugenics faded to the background. But once again we are witnessing science being manipulated in an attempt to create a more “perfect” society. As this new Canadian study shows, we aren’t even disguising this eugenic approach. Rather, it is seen by some as a step forward. In an interview with the Vancouver Sun, lead researcher Dr. K. S. Joseph says that while at first glance the increase in the rate of stillbirths may seem like a “disquieting trend” the study shows this it is due to positive developments in prenatal monitoring (emphasis added).

Canada is one of the only nations in the world which allows abortion throughout all 40 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore some may be inclined to hardly raise an eyebrow at this drastic increase in late-term abortions. Nevertheless, it should give us cause to pause and reflect on what is clearly developing: we are witnessing a deliberate division of the population between one class of “valuable” citizens who have the ability to contribute to society, and another class who are less valuable and are perceived to be a cost to society.

Given that as many as 90% of pre-born children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted, it is clear that modern technology is being used to once again discriminate in a deadly way against some humans. I do not speak for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, but it is safe to say they have made huge strides in the past decade in breaking down barriers by pricking the national consciousness with the messages of “Celebrate Being!” and “See the Ability!” Obviously, some don’t see the ability.

New developments in prenatal monitoring certainly can be seen as positive. But Canadians ought not deceive themselves. This technology is being used as a tool for eugenics, in an attempt to “improve” society by eliminating less-than-perfect pre-born children.

Canada needs an abortion law. Such a law would provide much needed legal protection for many in the disabled community.  Indeed, if we can justify killing a preborn child simply because he or she has a genetic “defect”, how long before we justify killing an infant, or a toddler, or even an adult with similar defects? Events over the past one hundred years have shown us what happens when taking the life of another human being is justified under the guise of eugenics. If Canada is going to give human rights more than lip service, we can tolerate modern-day eugenics no longer.

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