The Controversy Surrounding Selective Infanticide Essay

1368 Words6 Pages
Over the course of time, selective infanticide has been heavily debated and surrounded by much controversy. Harriet Johnson’s piece “Unspeakable Conversations” navigates through the discourse between Johnson and selective infanticide advocate Peter Singer. Real world applications of the social and medical model of disability are embedded all throughout Johnson’s personal account of her encounters with Singer, causing audiences to think of these models in ways other than textbook applications. The work written by Johnson was published very recently, and it is evident that the controversy surrounding selective infanticide at the time of its publication is still present today. Johnson’s piece on selective infanticide offers a stance on the matter that should not be ignored because it is coming from someone disabled. Further analyzation of the text provided will support this claim.
Unspeakable Conversations by Harriet Johnson recounts Johnson’s experience as a disabled lawyer debating with Peter Singer—an able bodied Princeton professor who believes that parents should be given the option to kill their disabled babies. Johnson experiences a broad spectrum of emotions in regards to Singer’s position. First, one of disdain; Singer believes that disabled people are “worse off” and won’t live meaningful lives because of their disability. After speaking more with Singer, Johnson sees that there is a human being behind this callous opinion, leaving her confused and conflicted. By the
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