Richard Dawkins, Eugenics, Conflicting Principles, and Political Reality

 

With a tweet that spawned a thousand Ricochet threads, Richard Dawkins really stepped in it last week.

The would-be avatar of all things atheist then issued an “It’s-not-me-it’s-you” style apology soon thereafter; this said more about the man’s venal nature than his underlying argument. Unfortunately, people’s first instinct seemed to be to prove Godwin’s Law in the first iteration of the argument in their haste to denounce Dawkins and his admittedly tactless 140 characters.

This is demonstrative of the fact that any given thought which is much more complicated than “Ate at Chipotle. Was delicious!” which you’re considering transferring from your brain to Twitter should probably just stay there.

Due to this truncated thought being exposed to the cold examination of millions of critical eyes, the accusations started at “eugenics” and predictably devolved from there.  Perhaps it helps to start with definitions:

eugenics / noun

1. the study of methods of improving the quality of the human race, esp by selective breeding

I certainly don’t think that Dawkins’ underlying intent was to advocate for a ruthless cull of the gene pool of untermensch – I think he was artlessly making an appeal to a form of utilitarianism, which has already been expressed by the greater public by the fact that around of 90% of parents who receive the prenatal diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome in their fetus choose to do precisely what Dawkins had the temerity to point out: abort and try again. For that reason alone, I think we can set aside any nefarious intent on Dawkins’ part.  Even if there were, it certainly isn’t Dawkins himself who is personally responsible for these individual actions, and I seriously doubt his ability to influence the public at large anyways.

This isn’t eugenics in the sense that there is a centralized authority who is making decisions about who gets to live, breed or die: this is a Hayekian, emergent-order phenomenon, where parents are making decisions they believe to be in their interests. They are doing what they’re doing because these potential babies are failing to pass the market test which these parents are imposing. Nobody has to tell these parents what to do; they’re doing it themselves.

This has been possible thanks to the same kind of technological advancements that have made our lives cheaper, more efficient, and with more choices in so many other fields.  Applied to reproduction, people have significantly more agency, up to and including how many children they have, when they have them, and those children’s quality of life. Yes, I chose that term intentionally, because the reality is that even breeding (just like dating) at this point acts like a market and is subject to incentives which can be measured.

Why do many people react to the decision to have children as though it were a market? Because people have choices. Starting largely with advent of cheap and easy contraception, people could choose to delay or specifically time when they have children, because the decision have a child has immense consequences in today’s world.  A recent study emerged which pegged the average cost of raising a child to the age of 18 at $245,000.  That’s $13,600/yr or $1,134/mo; one heck of an investment. There are economies of scale as the number of children goes up, but the initial cost is rather steep.  This cost also assumes the fact that the child is cognitively normal and doesn’t have any extraordinary physical handicaps. What justifies this cost? The answer of course is that people place a value upon their children which is higher than the cost of the investment, but that value is not infinite.

What about those other children, the ones who are not cognitively normal or do have extraordinary physical handicaps?  According to links provided by Down Syndrome Help, the cost of caring for a child with a severe cognitive disability throughout their life is about $3.2 million.  Needless to say, this is a cost which most people blanch at given the fact that they may not earn that much money in their entire life.  As a result of this immense cost, and the perceived loss of quality of life that people anticipate as a result of having to provide lifelong care for an adult child, people frequently avail themselves of the opportunity to “Try again” for good or ill.

I imagine that this line of reasoning has a lot of readers choking on their coffee in their haste to denounce me as a ruthless and evil person bent upon the pre-birth destruction of each person whose net contribution to society is less than $0.  Rest assured, that is not the point of this, so let me lay my cards on the table.

As a matter of principle, I am personally opposed to abortion, especially abortion of convenience, or ex-post-facto birth control.  If you question my commitment, I should say that — against my better judgment — I married my ex-wife rather than see her carry out her threat to abort my daughter at the behest of her mother. I want to head off immediately any line of argument from any person who thinks that I “lack empathy” or “disrespect the lives of the innocent.” I made my choices, for good or ill, and I have lived with them.

I also have never been given a choice like the one that many people face when given the moral quandary of how to proceed with a potential child who is either going to be very sick or debilitated.  I can’t say that I would have the moral fiber to withstand such a choice, and I’m glad that I never had to.  It is equally obvious to me that given the choice between two tragedies that the evidence points to the fact that the vast majority of people prefer the outcome which they feel they have control over and benefits them both in the short and long term.

Placing myself in that position as a conservative, I could imagine my principles being tugged in two different directions.  My personal commitment to preserving the rights of this potential person is opposed by my desire that people should contribute positively to society.  While I can certainly guarantee that my contribution to society through my children, taxes and work will far exceed what I use, I am also certain that if I had a child with those sorts of cognitive disabilities or handicaps that this balance would flip. Add to this that because I don’t have the resources to completely cover the costs for that person, I am perversely incentivized to not abort that child precisely because I would not have to bear the costs which that child would impose, because they end up being collectivized through our social welfare system.

Unfortunately, I think conservatives are pinioned between these two mutually exclusive positions: on the one hand, we don’t want people to abort their children; on the other, we want people to bear personal responsibility for their choices.  Rigid adherence to both principles would require of people that they simultaneously carry to term all children (no matter how sick) and to then bear any and all costs of that decision (no matter how crushing).  I don’t feel like it is logically consistent for us to require both of people — and it certainly smacks of a sort of high-handed disregard for accident — when having children is frequently made at the margin.  

As an acolyte of Thomas Sowell, I am convinced of the truth of the “Constrained Vision” of human nature and resigned to the “Tragic View” of life. That means that frequently in life we are faced not with choices between “Good” and “Bad,” but more frequently “Bad” and “Worse.” This is one such situation.

Where the rubber meets the road on this is in our expression of public policy. Any fair appraisal of government’s role when trying to balance the bad and worse while looking at contraception and abortion should tell you that the technology which gives us power over when and how to bring life into the world is a Genie which cannot be completely stuffed back into the bottle. We can no more do that than we can undo the technological advances of online dating, for good or ill.

To do so would empower the government to a degree where I believe conservatives would be deeply uncomfortable if it were any other aspect of life. Imagine if you would a flat, government-enforced ban on abortion. How could we ensure compliance?  Perhaps women should provide monthly evidence of menstruation, with failure to provide such evidence initiating a pregnancy investigation, resulting in mandatory monthly checkups to ensure that a potential fetus has not been aborted? If that woman is pregnant, what happens in the event of miscarriage? Must the coroner be dispatched to ensure that a wrongful death has not occurred? And what happens if such a determination is made? This scenario quickly descends into madness or a police state.  Conservatives should disavow policies that would grant the government such power.

So what can we do?

The best we can hope for at this point is containment. That means we should engage in moral persuasion rather than pursue broad public policy remedies.  Coupled with the the realization that, just because you or I wouldn’t make a particular decision regarding how we would order our affairs given an extraordinarily difficult set of circumstances, that such a decision is not universally agreed-upon and we might just make some progress.

If you or I would struggle with what to do — even given a strong moral compass — keep in mind that it’s no less hard for other people who are also balancing a panoply of interests, and do not view their situation as a monopolar moral calculation.  I’m not qualified to make up those peoples’ minds for them a priori; none of us isLiberty can be abused, but empowering the government to impose our will can also work at cross purposes to the rest of the Conservative agenda.

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  1. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Majestyk: It is a police state writ large. Conservatives should disavow policies which would grant the government such power.

     Nice post.  I agree with the above.  It’s often bad vs. worse, and involving the State in the decision-making process is not going to make it better, especially in a time-constrained matter.

    • #1
  2. user_432921 Member
    user_432921
    @JimBeck

    Agreed nice post.  How would you suggest we try to deter the gender based abortions?  Can we imagine a way to deter parents  from designing their children using the gene selection technologies of the future?

    • #2
  3. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Jim Beck:

    Agreed nice post. How would you suggest we try to deter the gender based abortions? Can we imagine a way to deter parents from designing their children using the gene selection technologies of the future?

     I really can’t think of such a scheme right off the top of my head aside from incentivizing people to have more girl babies via tax policy.  This would have the net effect of being a tax on boys however, and I think that would be fairly abominable.

    Technology is moving forward nine steps ahead of moribund government regulators anyways.  If there’s a way to envision banning something, a means of circumventing the ban will inevitably be developed.  Trying to nudge people like this is counterproductive, short of forcing people to abort, a la the PRC.

    • #3
  4. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    I don’t agree at all that it is a “bad or worse” choice.  Look, when I was a child, abortion was illegal. We had a number of Downs children in our community and they were a valued part of it.  It is tragic that so many of these sweet people are missing from our world.  Did people have children with much more severe problems than Downs?  Yes.  And they made it work.  Now we have the mistaken belief that we can control our lives and shield ourselves from trouble and pain.  Respect for life–the  young or the old–becomes ever dimmer.  I would much rather live in the world that respected life and dealt with the consequences than the present one.

    • #4
  5. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Merina Smith:

    I don’t agree at all that it is a “bad or worse” choice. Look, when I was a child, abortion was illegal. We had a number of Downs children in our community and they were a valued part of it. It is tragic that so many of these sweet people are missing from our world. 

    Again, you’re not making that choice – and I don’t think you should get to make it for them either.  Whatever the reasons, this class of people is going to become smaller and smaller in the future.

    Now, you may be a great advocate for those potential people, but your advocacy isn’t the voice that matters: these people’s parents are the ones who are rejecting them.  If you want to change that, attempting to cram your preferences down their throat with government probably isn’t the way to convince them of the moral rightness of your position.

    I think that in the future this will become a moot point once gene therapy or genetic screening reach the point where medicine is able to fix such genetic abnormalities in vivo.

    Technology is likely to make abortion as extinct as downs.

    • #5
  6. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    I think it’s fair to point out as well Merina, that because of the high incidence of voluntary abortion upon a Downs diagnosis that there are a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise consider an abortion who must be getting one anyways in contravention of their stated principles.

    I don’t believe that Downs selects predominantly for liberal ideology.  At a 90% elective abortion rate, what this indicates to me is that those principles are left at the door when the rubber hits the road for a lot of people.  That probably includes a not insignificant number of evangelicals, other conservative Christians and a not-small number of Catholics.

    I can’t imagine where all of these abortions are coming from otherwise, unless something else is going on here which merits some serious study.

    • #6
  7. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    Merina Smith: Look, when I was a child, abortion was illegal.

     And so it never happened?

    • #7
  8. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Tuck:

    Merina Smith: Look, when I was a child, abortion was illegal.

    And so it never happened?

     That’s not what she said, don’t put words in her mouth.

    • #8
  9. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Majestyk: I don’t believe that Downs selects predominantly for liberal ideology.  At a 90% elective abortion rate, what this indicates to me is that those principles are left at the door when the rubber hits the road for a lot of people.  That probably includes a not insignificant number of evangelicals, other conservative Christians and a not-small number of Catholics.

     Having known some parents who have carried their Downs kids to term, they talk about the incredible pressure they received from their doctors to abort.  For the length of their pregnancies they received consistent messages that their children’s lives would be worthless, would be too difficult, would be full of too many medical problems, would be crimp their lifestyles, would strain their families, etc.  In short they were told that bringing a Downs child to term was highly UN-ethical, and that they were bad people for considering it.

    There is more than parental economics at play on this issue, there is a dominant cultural bias against children with birth defects, and against parents who let them live.  We need only remember the vitriol directed at Palin over just this issue.

    • #9
  10. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    skipsul:

    Tuck:

    Merina Smith: Look, when I was a child, abortion was illegal.

    And so it never happened?

    That’s not what she said, don’t put words in her mouth.

     I don’t want to put those words in her mouth, but I do think it begs the question.  Sure, abortion was officially illegal.  Does that mean that it never happened?

    I think that one of the tenets of good law is that at a fundamental level it should be enforceable.  I don’t see how a flat ban on abortion could be maintained through the barrier of doctor-patient confidentiality (patients aren’t talking and doctors won’t implicate themselves) short of running numerous sting operations and performing rather invasive tests upon women to find out whether or not they’re truly pregnant.

    If a woman is truly bent upon killing her own fetus, how does the state intend to stop her (whatever the reasons) if the only people who know she was ever pregnant are her and her doctor?

    • #10
  11. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    skipsul:

    There is more than parental economics at play on this issue, there is a dominant cultural bias against children with birth defects, and against parents who let them live. We need only remember the vitriol directed at Palin over just this issue.

     To be fair, Sarah Palin doesn’t exactly hurt for a thing in her life either, so the economic and lifestyle issues are nonexistent.  That can’t be said for most people.

    Add to that, that if she had an abortion and it were ever found out the evangelical community (which comprises the core of her support) would have abandoned her in droves.  I salute her for living her values, but I don’t pretend for a minute that the life of a politician doesn’t involve these sorts of calculations.

    I’m also not going to defend or support doctors in the medical profession who advocate for their patients to abort.  I mean, is there any limiting principle?  If a fetus is diagnosed with anencephaly, does it then become OK to abort?  I can’t pick a line here for other peoples’ lives.  I can only live my life.

    • #11
  12. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Majestyk: I don’t want to put those words in her mouth, but I do think it begs the question.  Sure, abortion was officially illegal.  Does that mean that it never happened?

     Like with anything else illegal, it was much more rare when illegal than when after.  Prohibition, whatever its other consequences, did reduce drinking.

    You have to think about it in terms of marginal utility.  Will illegality stop “a woman… truly bent upon killing her own fetus”?  No, but that was never the purpose of the law.  That’s like asking if confiscating a driver’s license will truly stop the boozer truly determined to drive himself around.

    When abortion was illegal (and it was never as illegal as claimed – the Catholic hospital my mother worked at called them “therapeutic terminations” and reserved them for cases of rape and incest) it was in fact uncommon.  There was a combination of social pressures that kept it rare:  moral taboo of fetal murder, shotgun marriage, social shaming, etc.  The medical establishment was largely against it, and doctors, if caught doing it outside of prescribed limits, could be ratted out and jailed.

    It really was a rarity.

    • #12
  13. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Ran out of words in #12, but my greater point was that if the costs are high, then fewer people will do it.  You’ll never get to zero, but that’s not the point.  Costs were once higher for abortion, so it was rarer.  They are very low now, so it is all too common.

    Right now, for children with birth defects, the costs are very high, and many of those costs are in the form of social pressure and stigma, not too dissimilar to those associated with abortion back when it was illegal.  This is in part why the abortion rate for Downs is 90% – it’s not just expected difficulty of raising such a child, it’s that you, as a parent, are treated in certain circles as both inhumane (for inflicting pain on the child and on society at large for the costs), and insane (for undertaking such an unrewarding burden).

    • #13
  14. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Majestyk:  To be fair, Sarah Palin doesn’t exactly hurt for a thing in her life either, so the economic and lifestyle issues are nonexistent.  That can’t be said for most people.

     True, Palin is an extreme outlier for a long list of reasons.

    • #14
  15. Midget Faded Rattlesnake Contributor
    Midget Faded Rattlesnake
    @Midge

    Majestyk:

    If that woman is pregnant, what happens in the event of miscarriage? Must the coroner be dispatched to ensure that a wrongful death has not occurred? And what happens if such a determination is made?

    For that reason, as long as the fetus is terminated at a stage where it’s not recognizable to the naked eye as a human being, I don’t see much point to prosecuting abortion as if it were wrongful death. “The more it looks like a person, the easier it becomes to treat as a person” sounds simplistic, but makes questions of evidence easier to handle if you want to prosecute.

    Moreover, miscarriages are fairly common in the early stage of pregnancy.

    • #15
  16. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    skipsul: That’s not what she said, don’t put words in her mouth.

     Asking a question isn’t putting words in one’s mouth, now is it?

    • #16
  17. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    skipsul: It really was a rarity.

     Apparently not.

    A History of Infanticide in Britain, c. 1600 to the Present

    Anti-abortion rules came about because it was common, not rare.

    And kudos to that author for being honest in picking a title.

    • #17
  18. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    skipsul: Prohibition, whatever its other consequences, did reduce drinking.

     No, it didn’t even do that.  Although the point’s debatable, at best consumption was back to where it started after it was repealed.

    Prohibition is an awful flop.
    We like it.
    It can’t stop what it’s meant to stop.
    We like it.
    It’s left a trail of graft and slime,
    It don’t prohibit worth a dime,
    It’s filled our land with vice and crime.
    Nevertheless, we’re for it.

    • #18
  19. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    What you’re saying is eminently reasonable – however, people at both ends of the spectrum won’t give an inch – fundamentalists want to assign the full rights of personhood to fertilized eggs and pro-abortion extremists refuse to recognize any restrictions upon the practice, even up to moments before birth.

    Trying to make a compromise between these two diametrically opposed views isn’t possible, so probably the best we’re going to be able to do is please a politically viable majority in the center.

    • #19
  20. user_554634 Moderator
    user_554634
    @MikeRapkoch

    Majestyk:

    Midget Faded Rattlesnake:

    What you’re saying is eminently reasonable – however, people at both ends of the spectrum won’t give an inch – fundamentalists want to assign the full rights of personhood to fertilized eggs and pro-abortion extremists refuse to recognize any restrictions upon the practice, even up to moments before birth.

    Trying to make a compromise between these two diametrically opposed views isn’t possible, so probably the best we’re going to be able to do is please a politically viable majority in the center.

     What approach do you propose to satisfy the “politically viable majority?”

    • #20
  21. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Tuck:

    skipsul: It really was a rarity.

    Apparently not.

    A History of Infanticide in Britain, c. 1600 to the Present

    Anti-abortion rules came about because it was common, not rare.

    And kudos to that author for being honest in picking a title.

     I never claimed anything about when the rules came about, I said it was rare in the US pre-Roe.  Don’t stretch my claim in order to attack it.

    • #21
  22. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Tuck:

    skipsul: That’s not what she said, don’t put words in her mouth.

    Asking a question isn’t putting words in one’s mouth, now is it?

     Your question was leading.  Address her arguments without cherry picking.

    • #22
  23. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Tuck:

    skipsul: Prohibition, whatever its other consequences, did reduce drinking.

    No, it didn’t even do that. Although the point’s debatable, at best consumption was back to where it started after it was repealed.

     

    There are a lot of contradictory research papers on the subject.  What I’ve read has suggested that per-capita alcohol did not rise to pre-prohibition levels for decades after repeal.  See Here for instance.  

    But this is ancillary to the point I was making: when things cost more, people consume them less.  I never claimed that drinking or abortion had ever gone away or ever would go way under any regimen of laws or any cultural norms.  My point still stands:  if the perceived costs of a behavior go down, then the behavior will grow.

    To state my point again:

    Downs children are aborted more today because the costs (criminal, economic, moral, social) of abortion are very low, while the costs (economic, social, moral) are high for bringing them to term.  

    • #23
  24. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Mike Rapkoch: What approach do you propose to satisfy the “politically viable majority?”

     There is no short-term approach, only the gradual long work of turning the culture, and the pro-life movement has been reasonably successful here at least regarding piecemeal restrictions on abortion in general.

    Sex-selective and gene-selective abortions are much the same.  You could pass laws forbidding the practice, but those laws are not easily enforced.  Instead you have to work on the culture.  The temptations are strong – I need only look at the heritable diseases of my own family to know that I do not wish my children to get them.  Yet I also know that I would not undo or halt their lives for such conditions.  Ultimately all cultures will have to face the question of what they think they value, and that will be a frightening battle.

    China and India are already at the forefront of the battle with their growing imbalances in the sexes.  Sex is just a gross difference compared to the myriad of other human variations, and we should be very worried we’ll wipe out the subtleties in our quest for the perfect.

    • #24
  25. Podkayne of Israel Member
    Podkayne of Israel
    @PodkayneofIsrael

    Majestyk–I very much agree with what you say. I work with children and young adults with Down, and I would not personally abort a Down fetus, but that is because–for me–Down Syndrome is far from “the worst”. Most of them can live productive lives, hold down a job, marry, and maintain meaningful friendships. They can bring joy and not tragedy to their families. I would not say the same for genetic defects that are “not compatible with life”, or that inevitably entail a brief lifetime of suffering and hospitalization for the child and his family (barring abandonment). I have seen families who deal with seriously handicapped children in ways that ennoble themselves and all of society, but I have also seen families who descend into more serious social pathology than they might have had they not been so “challenged”. I believe that there is such a thing as limiting the damage.
    Thank you for your honesty and your clarity of expression.

    • #25
  26. Mama Toad Member
    Mama Toad
    @CBToderakaMamaToad

    Majestyk,
    Since I don’t have a permit to own a gun, it would be illegal for me to do so. At no time to I need to provide the government with evidence of compliance.
    Are you familiar with our legal principle of the presumption of innocence?
    If so, why do you always share your wild fears about the inevitable ruthless draconian monitoring required to restore abortion to illegality?

    • #26
  27. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Mama Toad:

    Majestyk, Since I don’t have a permit to own a gun, it would be illegal for me to do so. At no time to I need to provide the government with evidence of compliance.Are you familiar with our legal principle of the presumption of innocence?If so, why do you always share your wild fears about the inevitable ruthless draconian monitoring required to restore abortion to illegality?

     Agreed, double like on this.

    • #27
  28. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    Mama Toad:

    Majestyk, Since I don’t have a permit to own a gun, it would be illegal for me to do so. At no time to I need to provide the government with evidence of compliance.Are you familiar with our legal principle of the presumption of innocence?If so, why do you always share your wild fears about the inevitable ruthless draconian monitoring required to restore abortion to illegality?

     I agree. The reference to this police state that forces women to submit information about their menstrual cycle or mandatory monthly checkups sounds a bit like paranoia of an eventual theocratic takeover of America.  Perhaps Majestyk meant that this is what would happen after ISIS takes over. :-)

    • #28
  29. Tom Meyer Contributor
    Tom Meyer
    @tommeyer

    Majestyk: Unfortunately, I think conservatives are pinioned between these two mutually exclusive positions: on the one hand, we don’t want people to abort their children; on the other, we want people to bear personal responsibility for their choices. Rigid adherence to both principles would require of people that they simultaneously carry to term all children (no matter how sick) and to then bear any and all costs of that decision (no matter how crushing). I don’t feel like it is logically consistent for us to require both of people — and it certainly smacks of a sort of high-handed disregard for accident — when having children is frequently made at the margin.

    This very much needed saying.

    To be clear, I don’t think the obvious conclusion is to condone such abortions: there may yet be other considerations that tip the scale in the opposite direction, and clearly those with the means to care for a disabled child have a further duty to use those means on behalf of those kids.

    But dismissing the economics out of hand isn’t necessarily the more compassionate position: assuming the numbers above are correct, $3.2M is a lot of money, it has to come from somewhere if the parents don’t have it, and it could be used to do other things, including helping other people.

    A pro-lifer might yet respond that there’s still a difference between actively killing one human (e.g., an early stage fetus with Downs Syndrome) and permitting the deaths of others, and that’s a serious argument. But it’s different than saying that economic considerations are cold.

    • #29
  30. user_7742 Member
    user_7742
    @BrianWatt

    I would never support Sarah Palin for the Presidency…but as to the reference to her decision – First she made the decision with her husband; second, I think it’s presumptious to assume that she and her husband factored in a political calculation at all in whether to bring their Down Syndrome child to term unless you have first hand testimony from her or Todd Palin to support such a claim. Perhaps the Palins were following the dictates of their faith which instructed them that abortion was wrong. Perhaps they did it out of love. Perhaps they were willing to deal with the consequences not necessarily because they might be able to afford to do so, but because they felt compelled to do so out of a belief that all potential life should have a chance for life. I just found the remarks about a couple’s motives in a matter such as this not worthy of the commentators.

    • #30

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