Genetic Purification

I have heard some argue that prenatal diagnosis and selective abortion would reduce society’s burden in having to give special care for very disabled people and thus free funds for general health care, education, etc. for the mildly disabled. I have also heard the strong counter-proposition that such “genetic purification” in practice works against tolerance for the usual range of variation and measures to care for the abnormal. To understand the logic of this proposition consider an analogy: The health and fitness boom of the 1980s seems to have reduced tolerance for plump, “overweight” people. Those who have kept themselves trim tend to think that overweight people ought also to be able to do something about their figures. In the light of this analogy, Rapp's articles, your own experience, and research into the published literature, discuss the contention about “genetic purification."


Rapp, R. "Moral Pioneers: Women, Men & Fetuses." Women & Health 13 (1/2, 1988): 101-116.

(original page by pjt)