When the fight to legalize abortion was just beginning in the late 1960s, some in the medical community supported legal abortion because they felt that abortion could prevent the birth of children with disabilities. Disabled people’s lives, they believed, were not worth living. Here is one example of a doctor saying that it’s morally wrong to have a disabled child:
“If life is sacred… Then it is about time we begin treating it as such, instead of continuing to commit the frightful tragedies we do in permitting individuals to be brought into the world who will suffer all the days of their lives from serious disabling defects… The initial basic right of the individual should be to be born without handicap. Anyone who, in the light of the facts, assist in bringing a seriously handicapped child into the world in my view commits a crime against humanity.
Abortion could prevent that crime.”
Respected scientist Ashley Montagu “Letters to the Editor” New York Times, February 28, 1969
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