University of Minnesota historian David M. Perry recently advocated for legal eugenics through abortion in a recent editorial titled “Republicans Are Using Fear of Eugenics to Attack Reproductive Rights.”
“If individuals want to terminate an otherwise wanted pregnancy due to a prenatal diagnosis, I support their decision,” he unequivocally states.
“Cute kids with Down syndrome, like my son, should never be an excuse to deny access to an abortion.”
Perry, whose own son has Down syndrome, essentially explains that he’s willing to allow for the mass destruction of babies with Down syndrome in order to have a rhetorical comeback against pro-life Republicans. In fact, his entire piece is a diatribe against constituents of the Republican Party who carry what he perceives as the nefarious belief that murdering an innocent, unborn child is wrong. He takes this stance a step further by proclaiming that eugenics plays an integral role in a woman seeking to undergo an abortion procedure.
“It’s time to affirmatively support the right to eugenic abortion, even as we fight the need for it,” he callously opines.
He also makes the argument that the GOP is using Down syndrome as a pawn for their political objectives.
“Republican are using Down syndrome as a wedge issue to attack reproductive rights,” he tweeted, along with a link to his op-ed. “In response, folks like me must affirm the RIGHT to selective abortion.”
In his piece, Perry utilizes his son’s Down syndrome as an approach to allow his readers to understand the convenience he sees with women having abortions specifically for eugenic reasons.
“My son may not participate in the capitalist economy, live independently, or speak (he might also do all of these things!), but his value as a human is intrinsic,” Perry states. “The struggle for disability rights begins with the affirmation that no one gets to tell anyone else what to do with their body. That includes abortion.”
It’s quite intriguing how Perry conflates rights for those with disabilities with the right to have an abortion. For disabled individuals in our society, such as Perry’s son, to actually receive disability rights, they first have to be born.
However, Perry is no stranger to extreme opinion.
He recently tweeted, “Trump is a white supremacist and admitted serial sexual predator. He is ignorant and dangerous. He has filled the government with thieves. Blaming the left for criticism when you vote for a racist predator ... I dunno. Take responsibility for the hate you create.”
Perry is not the only individual to recently use their child’s health problems or disability as a soapbox for political commentary. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel used his own baby as a political prop to promote his stance on healthcare.
Throughout the entire piece, Perry seems to play mental jujitsu in order to affirm abortion rights, despite knowing that selective abortion for the sake of avoiding Down syndrome is a stain on society. His sole task is to be reactionary and antagonistic towards anti-abortion Republicans, no matter what is at stake.
“Right now, Down syndrome and other genetic anomalies are being politicized as Republicans try to take away autonomy by playing on fears of eugenics. It’s time to defang that threat by affirming that a pregnant individual has the right to make whatever choice they wish to make, under any circumstances.”
Isaiah Denby is a college freshman from Tampa Bay, Fla., studying economics and political science.