TW: Abortion, Stigma, Autism Speaks, Eugenics
In the United States, there is a rumor about the British, that they urge people to abort an unborn child if that child has Down Syndrome. Unfortunately, it is also happening in the United States and Australia at an alarming rate, too. That’s the part the urban legend does not tell you. This is kind of why I feared autism research into genetics. I feared genetic autism research, because if autism was genetic, then the only “cure” for the way the brain was wired was to abort or kill the unborn child. They would be generally killed in order to keep them from being a burden on society. Apparently, if a person has a little trouble getting around in society, then they are a burden. I refuse to believe that. It is Social Darwinism at its worst. It puts an onus on a person that they are only what we can get out of them. What a greedy, selfish way to view the world.
“But, but, but, but they are surplus population! They are taking up all our resources without giving anything back!” They may not be contributing to you personally, but you might be rejecting their contributions anyway, because they are different from you. What if “Hamilton” was rejected by Broadway because the author and original Star, Lin-Manuel Miranda, was Hispanic? I can use that example because there are people around the world who hate Hispanic people, and some of them might have been (or are) on Broadway. Of course, let’s look at this idea of “surplus population.” Again, are you saying that the less able-bodied or able-minded are useless? Are you saying a person’s worth is what you can get out of them? I already argued the point above. And what are YOU giving to society? And is it enough? Clearly, you might be less fit than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, because you are not rich enough to run for President. Where does the line of enough contribution, and therefore, worthiness of life, lie? For some populations, like the disabled, the line lies outside of their reach, because they are different. And how do you know that autistic people are and have not contributed anything to society? Autism was coined in 1944. I believe autistic people were contributing to society long before then, especially if autism is genetic. Michelangelo, painter of the Sistine Chapel, for instance, displayed lots of traits which depict autism. Of course, it was not 1944 yet, so they could not dismiss his relative genius and put him away. Now, I am not saying finding out a person has or had autism is a bad thing. What I am saying is, there is a stigma that came with autism being discovered that has to be removed. People’s lives are in danger because of autism stigma. This stigma is being perpetuated by “cure” and “eradication” based organizations like Autism Speaks, and is hurting the autistic mind, not helping. The subhuman classification of the disabled must stop. Life is precious, even if it’s a disabled life, in my opinion.