The Problem with Genetic Screening

Andrea Rudy

12/20/20232 min read

Yesterday I shared a reel from a well known and respected maternal care provider.

This provider was discussing early genetic screening that’s typically offered to parents in the early stages of pregnancy. This person was suggesting that the earlier parents were able to find something abnormal in these screenings the better, because it’s better for a mother’s health to “terminate”, a.k.a. take the life of your baby, early on.

This is really problematic advice for a care giver to give, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is presented as taking the health of the woman into account. It clearly does not take the wellbeing of the child into account. And in the end this approach also shows no care for the health of women when data shows that symptoms like PTSD, substance abuse, and suicidal behavior dramatically increase in women who have had abortions.

Secondly, using the phrase “to find out if something is wrong” is disgusting language to use toward another human being. Whether there is a genetic abnormality or not, there is nothing “wrong” with a helpless, innocent baby in any scenario. To suggest that a genetic difference makes someone less valuable, and then to support ending that person’s life, is a disgrace coming from someone who has taken an oath to care for the health of other humans.

Thirdly, genetic screening is primarily used to pick and choose the offspring that someone most prefers to carry to term. In other words, it is eugenics.

Care providers do not “walk a middle road” when it comes to the issue of abortion. There is no middle road. There is no nuance. This is a black and white issue, and you must land on one side or the other.

If a provider says they are against abortion, “except”… they are pro abortion.

If they say abortion is tragic, “but”… they are pro abortion.

It is deeply concerning to me when a maternal care provider suggest abortion as an option in any scenario. While many women in the population are the victims of ignorance and exploitation, a medical professional is under no illusions. They know exactly what that tiny developing life in the womb is. And knowingly supporting the killing of that tiny, perfectly valuable life is horrific.

Science has very clearly proven that life begins at the moment of fertilization. This is not an opinion. It is not a belief. It is a fact. What we as birth workers decide to do with that fact is very telling of our priorities. Is our priority caring for health and life? Or is it caring for our own reputation?

Taking this stance is not popular. But this is absolutely the hill I will die on. It’s probably not a great business plan but that’s not really what I’m here for. We must be very clear where we stand morally in our world today. We can’t back away from saying true things, no matter whose feelings they hurt.

Birth workers, it’s time to take a side. Babies are dying.