Breast cancer? You don’t deserve to live.

That is the message of the latest so-called “treatment” for breast cancer that was featured on the news last night. The report was on the first British baby born after screening for a gene that contributes to breast cancer risk. The BBC has more info here.

The first baby in the UK tested before conception for a genetic form of breast cancer has been born. …

The embryo was screened for the altered BRCA1 gene, which would have meant the girl had a 80% chance of developing breast cancer. …

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) involves taking a cell from an embryo at the eight-cell stage of development, when it is around three-days old, and testing it.

This is before conception – defined as when the embryo is implanted in the womb.

Doctors then select an embryo free from rogue genes to continue the pregnancy, and discard any whose genetic profile points to future problems.

Firstly, the BBC need to ensure their medical reporter knows some basic science – they have no clue about what conception is, basic early high-school biology. Stupid sentences like “This is before conception – defined as when the embryo is implanted in the womb” really destroy what reputation the BBC may still have.

Basically what they do is produce a number of babies, test them, use one they like and kill the rest.

The media are calling it a “treatment”, or “gene therapy”. But it is nothing of the sort. A treatment is when someone has a disease and you treat them. This is simply killing off those that have an increased risk of developing a disease. You don’t treat anything. Nor do you prevent anything, as the “murdered ones” may never have developed the disease anyway, and the “chosen one” could still develop it regardless.

This process is actually called “eugenics”, killing off or sterilising the “undesirable” humans. It was pioneered in the USA before WWII, where many disabled people were sterilised. Hitler became a big fan, and set up death camps where millions of disabled people, Jews, Gypsies and gays were killed. Following the exposure of these camps at the end of the war most of the world rejected eugenics and suddenly no-one had ever supported the idea. But the philosophy lived on, and now it is coming back with a vengence.

In this situation, they are basically saying that if you have this one gene that increases the risk of breast cancer you don’t deserve to live. Already we have many Downs syndrome babies aborted, because people believe they don’t deserve to live either.

Where is the moral outrage that we saw at the end of WWII? Back then the West was dominated by Christianity. Now it is dominated by atheism. The moral fibre has gone.

So now eugenics is back. And many people don’t care because if you kill them before they are born you don’t have to hear them scream.

The morality of abortion

In my opinion, as I have stated before, the biggest issue facing this country today is abortion. Over 18,000 babies are killed every year by abortion. If we had 18,000 people killed on the roads every year there would be an outrage, but when this occurs behind closed doors we somehow manage to ignore it.

I believe abortion is murder. I don’t believe this for religious reasons, the Bible doesn’t go into detail on when life starts. Rather I believe it for scientific reasons, and my Christian faith then tells me that murder is wrong.

The key issue here is when life starts. There is only one scientific point when a new human being is formed, and that is conception. At this point the new baby has a unique genetic makeup to its mother – her immune system actually has to be repressed to ensure it doesn’t kill the baby, as it is recognised as not being part of her body. There is no other point that can be defined scientifically as when life starts.

Sometimes people say life starts at implantation (which would justify the morning-after pill, which prevents implantation, but would not allow abortion). But nothing really changes at implantation for the child, rather it just goes from floating freely to being attached to the uterus – implantation is really just a change of location. Sometimes people say life starts when the child is conscious. But life has nothing to do with consciousness – when you are asleep it isn’t ok to kill you, when you are in a coma you aren’t dead, when you wake from a coma you haven’t come back to life – you are still alive, and still a human, regardless of whether you are conscious of it or not. There are all sorts of definitions, but none stands up to scientific scrutiny. Generally these definitions are used specifically to try and accommodate abortion, rather than to genuinely work out whether or not abortion is wrong.

If a child truly is a living human from conception, and killing a human is murder, then abortion is by definition murder.

This is a terrible thought to have to deal with for most people in our society today, as many people have had abortions, and pretty well everyone knows someone who has had one. As a result many people are not willing to address the issue and even entertain the thought that a child in the womb may have rights. Most teenagers these days have been raised to think the foetus is just part of the mother’s body and she has the right to destroy it if she wishes, and many are not willing to consider the implications of if this is not true.

But we must consider the implications, because if true, this is a massive moral outrage.

Furthermore, abortion is not just a simple procedure. Generally the baby is torn to pieces with no anaesthetic, it is a terrible way to die. Abortion can also have health implications for mothers, which people aren’t generally told about in NZ.

One emerging problem with abortion is eugenics. Eugenics is the belief that some people are “inferior” (such as disabled people, black people, homosexuals, Jews or pretty well whoever you want to define as “inferior”), and it is ok to sterilise or kill them to ensure the human race as a whole is healthy. This is an idea that was popular in the early 20th century, started in America, and formed the basis for Hitler’s slaughter of the mentally ill, homosexuals, Jews and gypsies. Before the Second World War many people favoured eugenics. After the War, seeing the horrible reality of what it actually meant when put into practice, eugenics was suddenly unpopular.

But it is back. Increasingly, genetic tests are available that will allow you to determine all sorts of things about a child in the womb. At present you can detect genetic disorders such as Downs syndrome, but the tests are becoming more accurate, and can conceivably be used to determine everything from whether you have a risk of developing cancer when you are 50 to your eye colour. As a result, parents can choose to abort children that are defective.

This is eugenics all over again – find the “defective” humans and cull them. But there is little outrage, as the moral standards of Western society have declined since the War and fewer people actually recognise that this is wrong. Effectively you are saying that disabled people don’t have a right to live, and it is ok to kill them. This is exactly what Hitler was doing, the only difference is that you kill them before you can hear them scream.

For more information, check out:

MandM’s excellent series on abortion from the perspective of liberal philosophy:

Is Abortion Liberal? Part 1, Part 2, Sentience Part 1, Part 2

Klan Parenthood – abortion and eugenics in America

Pictures of what abortion is really like from CBR and Priests For Life

Risks to the mother from and

What are your views on the issue? Remember abortion is already illegal in NZ, the abortions that are carried out are done through a legal loophole, and although we effectively have abortion on demand this was never the intent of NZ’s abortion law.

Abortion and Hitler

Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York, has written an excellent article on why abortion is completely wrong, in which he compares abortion to the eugenics practised by the Nazis. You can view it here. A few excerpts:

The picture on this page is an untouched photograph of a being that has been within its mother for 20 weeks. Please do me the favor of looking at it carefully.

Have you any doubt that it is a human being?

If you do not have any such doubt, have you any doubt that it is an innocent human being?

If you have no doubt about this either, have you any doubt that the authorities in a civilized society are duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if anyone were to wish to kill it?

Why do I not get into defining “human being,” defining “person,” defining “living,” and the rest? Because, I respond, I am sound of mind and endowed with a fine set of eyes, into which I do not believe it is well to cast sand. I looked at the photograph, and I have no doubt about what I saw and what are the duties of a civilized society if what I saw is in danger of being killed by someone who wishes to kill it or, if you prefer, someone who “chooses” to kill it. In brief: I looked, and I know what I saw.

Adolf Hitler convinced himself and his subjects that Jews and homosexuals were other than human beings. Joseph Stalin did the same as regards Cossacks and Russian aristocrats. And this despite the fact that Hitler and his subjects had seen both Jews and homosexuals with their own eyes, and Stalin and his subjects had seen both Cossacks and Russian aristocrats with theirs. Happily, there are few today who would hesitate to condemn in the roundest terms the self-deceit of Hitler, Stalin or even their subjects to the extent that the subjects could have done something to end the madness and protect living, innocent human beings.

It is high time to stop pretending that we do not know what this nation of ours is allowing—and approving—with the killing each year of more than 1,600,000 innocent human beings within their mothers. We know full well that to kill what is clearly seen to be an innocent human being or what cannot be proved to be other than an innocent human being is as wrong as wrong gets.

A new test is just being trialed in the UK which allows even more detailed analysis of the genetics of a baby before they are born. Note this:

Technically, it would be possible to use the test to select an embryo with a particular eye colour or to screen for multiple genes known to affect height or weight.

The whole thing works on allowing you to select the child you want (based on health initially, but potentially you can select for pretty well anything), and kill the rest. This is blatant eugenics, just like Hitler was using. The only difference is that if you kill them before they are born, you don’t have to listen to them scream.

Hat tip: Being Frank