Halftime Eugenics: Abortion and the Super Bowl

We look at Pro-life and Pro-choice as opposing views on abortion.  I consider myself pro-choice in most instances.  However jibber jabber about the Super Bowl, specifically relating to Tim Tebow, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback for the Florida Gators, has got me questioning what choice means as context changes.

There were two ads that were submitted to be played during the Super Bowl on CBS, one was an antiabortion message from Focus on the Family with Tebow.  The other was an ad for ManCrunch, a gay dating service.  The Tebow ad was approved while the ManCrunch ad was not.  In all the commentary that followed the announcement of the approval/disapproval, from pro-life advocacy to pro-gay and pro-choice individuals speaking out, there was no discussion concerning the regularity of aborting a fetus doctors deem to be “disabled.”

This “choice,” to abort or not to abort a fetus that may/may not be disabled, is a testament to eugenics. When a doctor informs a mother to be that her child may not be “normal” he/she is saying that some lives are not worth living, and certain bodies should be on this planet while others should not.  The words “creating a master race” are not used, but the identity of a “normal,” “functioning” human is created.

I wholeheartedly believe that women must have the right to abortion because it involves our bodies and our personal visions of the future.  What I question is the language that is used to support pre-natal testing, as improving the “quality of life” of the child, when it is really eliminating a population on the basis of disability.

There are many logistical questions to consider, such as: Does a mother have the finances to support a child with “special” needs? Are these needs based on physical health or mental health provisions?  However, all things considered, the question still stands: by aborting fetuses that are labeled disabled, because a doctor says it is true, we are creating a world where “disabled” remains on the outside of society and the able-bodied are normal and ideal.

Lia Avellino


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