I was in Genetics Class yesterday

And this is something that popped up which really threw me.

Our lecturer did her postgraduate work at Cambridge University. And believe me, she’s super scientific. You know, the kind of people who believe in “pure science” and not “not science”. I can’t explain it well but perhaps you know what I’m talking about.

As she taught us, it dawned on me that I am very much in a precarious situation. I am in a field which would support the murder of a child. I’m in a field that’s pretty oxymoron-ish in nature: on one end of the spectrum are people who are murdering their babies and on the other, people who are doing anything and everything to save a child still in the womb or born prematurely. Isn’t it bizarre how opposite things can be? There are people who specialise in abortions and people who specialise in neo-natal surgery. How odd.

I remember that in one of the first lectures, she mentioned that genetic engineering is basically people “picking what features” they want. And how the Nazis would ‘cross people’ (ie: mate them) to make a superior race. Did you know that the Nazis were one of the first people to kill children or grown-ups with deformities? They murdered people who were paralysed or born with a defect (blind, deaf, people with Down’s Syndrome). Can someone tell me how that is any different from murdering a baby in the womb? You are still selecting “the superior” person. You are still deleting people who you deem ‘unfit’ to survive.

People go for abortions because the child is “an inconvenience”. It is very rare for an abortion to be performed because going through with the pregnancy is life-threatening to the mother. People say that “having a kid with say, Down’s Syndrome with cause more financial and emotional burden to the families”. I dare you to ask any parent with a kid who has a mental defect whether or not they would go back and abort the kid. Most of them find that these children are a blessing. Did you know that people with Down’s Syndrome are the most loving people out there? Did you know that people with William’s Syndrome can be extremely outgoing and friendly? I doubt parents would ever call their children “a mistake” and really mean it.

It’s so strange that some people would do anything to get pregnant while others treat pregnancy like a disease. I remember reading this story where a lady told her doctor that she wanted to abort her child because they couldn’t afford to have another kid. The doctor said “Oh this one hasn’t started to incur much cost yet. Maybe we should start with the oldest child. He’s going off to college right?”. Doesn’t that make you think? Each child is still a person. How can you define when a baby is a baby? Is it the day the child is born? Is it the day, the child’s heart starts beating? What about the minutes before the pacemaker starts? Is the child dead then? Is it just tissue? And even then, is tissue not alive? Aren’t cells considered “the basic unit of life”?

If a foetus is not alive, is not considered human, why do we celebrate someone’s pregnancy? If being pregnant is a disease, why do we have all these different kinds of milk for mothers do drink so their babies will grow healthy? If an embryo at 2 weeks is not a human being, why does the embryo have completely different DNA sequences than the parent? How can you say “It’s my body” when the cells growing in your womb are not your own. Compare foetal blood and the mother’s blood.. the cells are so different. We are clones. We are individuals. At the point where the egg is fertilised and the 46 chromosomes pair up and find each other.. we are different from out parents. We are not them. We are our own person.

In law, we learn that it’s considered battery if there is non consensual touching which is harmful or offensive to a person’s reasonable sense of dignity. By that definition, abortion can be considered battery. Ever since Roe vs. Wade was passed in the States, 45 million or so people did not make it pass the first year or first few months of their existence. 45 million. Among those people were future doctors, were future teachers, were future leaders of the country. Among those people could have been future scientists who could have come up with cures for diseases… or discovered new forms of energy. In some messed up way, we have lost so many possible friends. We have lost soulmates.

Ponder this: If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis, would you recommend that she have an abortion? If you did, you would have murdered one of the greatest composers of our time: Beethoven. The late Steve Jobs, the genius behind the success of Apple was born to an unwed college student. If she had gone ahead with having an abortion, chances are we wouldn’t have IPhones or IPods or IAnythings. How many Steven Jobs have we lost, I wonder?


6 thoughts on “I was in Genetics Class yesterday

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