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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 18, Issue 2, Summer 2018

Christopher M. Reilly
Pages 237-246

Medical Professionals as Agents of Eugenics
Abortion Counseling for Down Syndrome

Eugenic thinking divides people into groups according to real or perceived genetic traits, identifies some groups as unwanted, and then promotes the elimination of the unwanted groups. Some American medical professionals are pursuing a eugenic agenda that pressures and misleads parents to abort unborn children with Down syndrome. These counselors have a strong, unwar­ranted bias that influences parents’ decisions significantly. The use of prenatal genetic testing and in vitro fertilization increases the number of deaths of unborn children with Down syndrome. The widespread practice of identifying and aborting children with Down syndrome is properly called eugenics.

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