Banning Selective Abortion based on Disability in USA – Social&Family Issues Example

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

"Banning Selective Abortion based on Disability in the USA"  is an inspiring example of a paper on social and family issues. Disability rights activists have been started to express an extraordinary view of the act of extensive prenatal diagnosis with intent to abort for the fact that the pregnancy may result in a child with a disability. The effectiveness in the medical industry and the rise of rehabilitation resources from the 1950s has contributed to activism in a significant percentage. The use and availability of antibiotics and advanced surgical techniques have also helped to do away with previously fatal conditions (Davis, 2006).                       Scholars have found that, among the firstborn children in the US, the sex ratio for a male to women is normal at 102:100.

If parents in the states were allowed to have a single kid, 40% would prefer a boy while 28% would prefer a girl. It has been shown that 92-93% of parents who carry prenatal tests and find their fetus with problems opt for an abortion. About 61-67 % of the parents choose to terminate due to Spina Bifida, 82-986% for Anencephaly and about 69-75% for tuner Syndrome.

In 2007, about 70 percent of Americans polled for women to abort their babies after discovering that they had defects (Smart, 2011). The effective community organizations for the blind, the deaf and the mobility-impaired individuals began and flourished in the 1960s and led to the successful passage of new public policy and civil rights legislation. The 1990 American Disabilities Act gives extensive public rights protection. Today, a lot of the disabled people look at themselves as part of a separate minority and reject the passive stereotypes of the disabled as being defective, unattractive and burdensome (Smart, 2011). Reproductive Rights in a Disability Context There is a primary difference between the aims of the reproductive right movements and the disability rights movement concerning reproductive sovereignty.

The movement that is related to the reproductive rights of the people has been fighting for the rights of the women to carry out abortions while the movement concerned with a disability has been struggling for the women rights not to have abortions (Koponen, Laaksonen, Vehkakoski, & Vehmas, 2012).

The disability rights movement tends to believe that disabled women have their right to become mothers and bare children. The women are also in a position of resisting any kind of pressure from any person to apply any form of prenatal diagnosis or carry out an abortion after the fetus has been identified as potentially becoming a child with a disability (Smart, 2011). Reasons for banning selective abortion in the USA Despite the statistics, people with disabilities are nowadays living longer and healthier lives and the number of people who are living with severely disabling conditions has increased.

They have access to powered wheelchairs, mobile respirators and communication technologies (Jenkins, 2011). The availability of these services has improved their individuals’ access to education and employment opportunities too. The meaning of this is that the disabled in society have equal chances as normal people thus, there is no need to carry selective abortion at any point (Koponen, Laaksonen, Vehkakoski, & Vehmas, 2012). Again, a large percentage of US citizens prefer to have a male child than a girl child, thus a prenatal test is always important for the parents to know the sex of the fetus and to know the action to take. The disability activist community has started challenging discriminating abortion, although the normal people have not seen any agreement about any of the issues that the disabled have raised.

The activists have recently begun their exploration and the debates to get views on the issue of selective abortion in a community of disabled persons. The views that the disabled have concerning selective abortion are purely based on their personal experiences, ethnicity, social class and religious backgrounds (Koponen, Laaksonen, Vehkakoski, & Vehmas, 2012).                       Those people who are faced with different forms of disabilities tend to have mixed feelings about the prenatal test that are carried on them.

While some of them see the tests as some form of genocide, some of them may simply choose to use screening tests at the times of their pregnancies in order to avoid giving birth to a disabled child. Again, the disabled may also use the tests in different ways that tend to differ from the common ways that they are used by women who share the larger culture’ s anti-disability unfairness.

For example, those people who have dwarfism prefer to abort their fetus for fear that they would give birth to a dwarf too. This calls for banning the practice completely in the USA (Jenkins, 2011).                       The individuals who advocate for selective abortion to do away with children suffering may often raise the cornerstone of the current political rhetoric, cost-benefit. Their interests are neither women-centered thus exposing the women to be pressured by both the arguments. It gets difficult for some to resist the discussion that it is their responsibility to save the scarce healthcare dollars by taking part in the elimination of the expensive disabled children.

Those against the argument explicitly state that the value of a child cannot be measured by using dollars, making it not worthy to carry selective abortion (Davis, 2006).                       People who challenge selective abortion have a common claim that people with disabilities are the ones who have the relevant information about what having and carrying disability is all about (Cowan, 2013).

They claim that the medical systems have entirely failed to address their situation and it has, in turn, exaggerated the suffering that they go through. Some Americans are also very bitter by knowing that the life of a fellow American can be taken legally just because they are girls. They have also claimed that the media and especially the movies have been using disability as a metaphor for impotence, evil, eternal dependence or even tragedy. It is only the disabled that can speak about themselves, their ordinary lives and the lives of disabled children (Davis, 2006).                       One of the justifications for selective abortion whether based on sex or disability is that it ends the suffering of the unborn baby.

The health care providers are trying their best to improve the lives of the people that they serve. Despite the efforts, the medical systems in existence take a narrow view of eliminating suffering. The doctors and other Physicians usually have a distorted image of the lives of the disabled in society and they encounter the disabled as having health problems. Most of the doctors have few chances of seeing the ordinary disabled individuals living in their communities among their friends and family and they usually do not see any sense in engaging in selective abortion (Cowan, 2013). Conclusion A selective abortion issue is not only about the considerations of the disabled in society, but it also implicates the lives of the women and that of the entire human beings.

The challenge of the practice by the disability rights activists has led to lots of women reacting towards the ideas raised and they feel uncomfortable with the language used that accords human status to the fetus.

The disabled women activists, on the other hand, do not want to be associated with the violent anti-choice movement. The women argue that, in their disability community, they tend to make a clear distinction between their views and those of the anti-abortion groups. There have been efforts to court disabled people to support the idea of anti-abortion but the groups involved never have at any time taken the issue of extending their resources for the disabled for the legislation concerned with disability.

It is based on the fact that selective abortion must be eliminated in the US as it interferes with the life of the unborn child. Concerning sex-selective abortion, the pro-lifers do not look to control women but they try to save them by making a clear and unambiguous statement. The statement asserts that, in the US, the girl child is cherished just like any other human being and they do not support selective abortion in any way.


Cowan, S. K. (2013). Secrets and Social Influence. Berkeley, CA.

Davis, L. J. (2006). The disability studies reader. New York: Routledge.

Jenkins, J. (2011). Abortion: Ancient and modern. Mount Sinai, N.Y.: Forward in Time.

Koponen, K., Laaksonen, K., Vehkakoski, T., & Vehmas, S. (2012). Parental and professional agency in terminations for fetal anomalies: analysis of Finnish women's accounts. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research.

Smart, J. (2011). Disability Across the Developmental Life Span: For the Rehabilitation Counselor. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us