The Right to Choose

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The Right to Choose Introduction Developments in genetics have advanced throughout the past couple of decades. For relatively the first time in the history of mankind, human beings have the ability to understand what genetic factors are responsible for certain conditions such as hair color, eye color, as well as diseases such as Down's Syndrome. With this knowledge, however, comes a sense of responsibility to apply such science in the best way possible so that humanity will benefit. Yet any particular benefits must be measured in terms of their moral and ethical impacts, in order to ensure that such technology is not mistakenly applied and produces detrimental effects in humanity. The question of morality as related to prenatal testing (which is intrinsically linked to genetics), therefore, is a fairly controversial one, especially when the issue of selective abortion is brought up. Selective abortion, of course, is the willful termination of a fetus due to information provided by prenatal testing due to genetic advancements. Examples of selective abortion include a woman choosing to abort her fledgling child because it has the genetic traits for multiple sclerosis, or for some other life threatening or severely debilitating condition (Steinbock, 1994). The notion of whether or not such abortions resulting from genetic information gleaned via prenatal testing is ethical is a widely debated point. Bonnie Steinbock has emerged as one of the champions of the belief that
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