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The current congressional debate in congress about whether you can abort a baby for the simple reason of not wanting one of that sex should lead all of you writiers, whether in fiction or non-fiction to think about the giant issue of eugenics and its application to humanity. As we make and carry out abortions for arbitrary non-disease traits such as hair and skin color, sex, athletic prowess… aren’t we beginning to tread on a rather delicate line that seemed all to clear at the time of the Second World War when we were fighting in part Hitler’s plan to erradicate certain arbitrary traits from his section of europe? I am reminded of McMurtry’s book “Lonesome Dove” in which Jake links up with a seemingly ok group of travel companions, only to be gradually drawn deeper and deeper into the spiral of depredations that led to the eventual horror of the massacre and burning of an entire frontier family just for the “fun of it”. As he was sitting on his horse ready to be hanged, he replied to Gus’ statement of “You stepped over the line Jake” with the famous phrase in my title. Is abortion for the purpose of getting rid of an embryo that is the wrong sex aproaching a line that we have chosen to ignore? Hopefully the debate in congress will bring up some good discussion of the philosophy of why abortions are sometimes necessary and why sometimes they cannot be justified.
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