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an abortion thought experiment

June 7th, 2018 | 1 min read

By Matthew Loftus

Yesterday’s post got me thinking, and I have an honest question for those who think abortion ought to be legal and that our current genetic testing regime for things like Down’s Syndrome is appropriate. Suppose a genetic link to homosexual or transgender identity was ascertained. Suppose further that you could test for sexuality in utero — or at least get a likelihood ratio based on an array of genes. If you think that abortion ought to be legal, would it be ethical to do this test? Given the risk of mental health problems and suicide — particular by those who identify as transgender — would it be ethical to selectively abort children who have such a genetic predisposition? One could argue that the solution to this problem would be that we ought to “fix society” so that transgender people don’t experience any discrimination — a fair goal — but if the health risks are still increased and the test is available, you would still have people suffering unnecessarily.

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Matthew Loftus

Matthew Loftus teaches and practices Family Medicine in Baltimore and East Africa. His work has been featured in Christianity Today, Comment, & First Things and he is a regular contributor for Christ and Pop Culture. You can learn more about his work and writing at www.MatthewAndMaggie.org