The twentieth century’s eugenics movement was eventually discarded, but eugenics did not go away entirely. Today eugenics continues, but it is a much more diverse and technologically sophisticated. There are the so-called eugenic abortions where the unborn with higher disease risks are “terminated.” And today’s technology allows for specific embryos, and even genes, to be selected. There seems to be, as Nathaniel Comfort observed this month, a eugenic impulse that drives us to seek a better human race. Underlying such health concerns, however, are the usual less benevolent motivations. In addition to the promised health benefits, Comfort explains that eugenics offers an intellectual thrill, and the profits of genetic biomedicine. Such lures are, explains Comfort, “too great for us to do otherwise. Resistance would be ill-advised and futile.”
Nonetheless there are those who warn against this new eugenics. Will not parents face enormous pressure to adopt the new technologies and create designer babies? But for eugenics proponent Jon Entine, such complaints are “just another iteration of the anti-abortionist (and far left) belief that life is ‘sacred’ and ‘inviolable’”
“Sacred” and “inviolable”? Apparently for Entine such sentiment is old-fashioned.
Evolution gave us chance origins and led to the modern eugenics and abortion movements. Not surprisingly, life no longer is considered sacred or inviolable. After all, life arose spontaneously from a series of random events.
Ideas have consequences.