Reading through today’s Freshly Pressed, as I do most days, I found this blog to be heartfelt. “Defriended Over a Wedding, a Straight Man Gains Perspective” Naturally, the topic of gay marriage is a touchy one to a lot of people, but one comment in particular seemed to be gaining a bit of infamy and, to put it lightly, pissed off a lot of other readers:
Now, of course, they say it occurs in the womb, and is not a choise. Then when will science give parents a real choice in the matter, after all the same progressives believe that it is not human until it exits the womb!
I think what he’s trying to say is that IF homosexuality is genetic, meaning they are born gay (and let’s all admit, there will always be debate about this one), what would the pro-choicers say to a genetic test that could allow parents the choice to let the child be born? If these “progressives” as he calls them believe life begins AFTER birth, not before, would homosexuality still be something you were born with? Would you be allowed to terminate a pregnancy on the basis that you didn’t want a “gay child” because of the results of this test? What would any of us say to something like that? What would pro-lifers do if they knew their child would be gay? Would they abort the pregnancy and save their child “from sin”? Personally, I don’t believe genetic testing of any type should be done unless there is a real risk of death in early infancy as a result of a genetic condition the child may carry. (And yes, I opted out of such testing when I was pregnant. My beliefs are that God gave me the children He did because I was the best mother for them.) They are already screening pregnancies worldwide for Down Syndrome and letting women abort their pregnancies on the outcome of those results (up to 90% of DS positive pregnancies are aborted for this reason, in contrast 3 to 7% of positives can be false. Averaging 5% false positives, at a 90% abortion rate, odds are more likely that those 5/100 false positives will be aborted or at least 4 of them will be). They are currently working on prenatal testing to determine if a child would develop autism, something my daughter and I both have. Would I have been born if my mother knew I would have Aspergers? That her grandchildren could be autistic?
The argument he lacked elegance in making was simple:
1) Is homosexuality a choice or something your born with?
2) If there was a genetic test for it, prenatally, would it be ethical to terminate the pregnancy based on the results of the test?
3) Would the “progressives” cry foul and switch arguments on abortion IF more pregnancies were aborted on the basis of genetic predetermination of sexual orientation?
I think on some level it is a question we must all ask ourselves: Would it make a difference to us?
As an anti-homosexuality, pro-lifer, would you still be pro-life if you knew your child would be gay? How would that effect your views on the pregnancy?
As a person who supports the “homosexuality is born” idea and is pro-choice, are you still pro-choice if it means that a subculture of people would be destroyed because of something they are “born with”? And if, in fact, you see that as wrong, why is then not wrong to do it to children with Down Syndrome or Autism?
These are tough questions, but as science moves forward and we get closer to proving many parts of our lives, choices, and personalities are, in fact, genetic, what does that do to the views we hold? What does that do to the choices we make? Google: Designer Babies Debate, people have been trying to play God for years by altering the genetic code of embryos to produce children with certain hair or eye colors, to allow them to look more like one parent or the other, or to avoid having big ears like their grandfather. Time magazine did in article on this topic way back in 1999! Where does that end and what’s the difference if we begin altering the genetic code to “remove” homosexuality from the child before it was born? These are not religious questions.
As science moves forward, we as society need to be responsible for the outcome of scientific breakthroughs. Science makes leaps and bounds every day, are we ready for the ethical dilemmas some of these leaps bring?