The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Unintended consequences

I'm not here to make a moral judgement one way or the other, but I would like to point towards some unintended consequences. Point A:

How many babies prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS) are aborted in the United States each year? Well, we don’t know. …

A new study conducted by Gert de Graaf, Frank Buckley, and Brian Skotko and recently published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics [Read the full article for the full reference. —Editor] applies rigorous statistical modeling to diverse data sets in an attempt to provide the most accurate number possible. It is important to know over time what impact relatively new noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS) technologies, only available since October 2011, will have on the already high termination rate after a prenatal diagnosis of DS.

The net result of their research is that abortion after prenatal diagnosis has reduced the population of individuals living with DS in the U.S. by approximately 30%. [Emphasis in original article and was not added here. —Editor] This should not be confused with the percentage of women who abort following a prenatal diagnosis. That number would certainly be higher. This reflects the overall reduction in the DS population, and takes into consideration total DS pregnancies, whether prenatally diagnosed or not. The authors state that prior to October 2011 and the availability of NIPS, about 72% of women elected to have traditional prenatal screens and only an estimated maximum of 2% went on to have invasive diagnostic procedures, i.e., amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling. If prenatal screening becomes more widely available, as seems to be happening, then one would expect the number of terminations to increase.

New Study: Abortion after Prenatal Diagnosis of Down Syndrome Reduces Down Syndrome Community by Thirty Percent | Charlotte Lozier Institute

Point B:

A genetic analysis of 409 pairs of gay brothers, including sets of twins, has provided the strongest evidence yet that gay people are born gay. The study clearly links sexual orientation in men with two regions of the human genome that have been implicated before, one on the X chromosome and one on chromosome 8.

Largest study of gay brothers homes in on 'gay genes' - New Scientist

The path (aka the “punchline”):

If people are born gay or transgender, Santorum posited, “it leads to a whole bunch of other situations,” like sex-selective abortions, for example.

“So if you can determine whether one of your children is gay, should we pass a law saying you can’t abort a child because you found out that child’s going to be gay? You can’t abort a child because you found out that child was going to be a woman? How would you feel about a law like that?” he asked Maddow.

Rick Santorum: I've met people who are no longer gay - Nick Gass - POLITICO

I won't claim I came up with this—that goes to Bruce Carroll (link via Instapundit). And I'm only bringing this up because some people are so blind to their own viewpoints they don't consider the ramifications of their myopic view.

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