From over on starboard side,Â Nicholas ProvenzoÂ ofÂ the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism is “troubled” by the implications of Gov. Sarah Palin’s “decision to knowingly give birth to a child disabled with Down syndrome.” He thinks “it is crucial to reaffirm the morality of aborting a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome (or by extension, any unborn fetus)—a freedom that anti-abortion advocates seek to deny.”Â Here’s his line of thinking: Â
A parent has a moral obligation to provide for his or her children until these children are equipped to provide for themselves. Because a person afflicted with Down syndrome is only capable of being marginally productive (if at all) and requires constant care and supervision, unless a parent enjoys the wealth to provide for the lifetime of assistance that their child will require, they are essentially stranding the cost of their child’s life upon others.
Meanwhile, on the port side, Paul Ehrlich, author of “The Population Bomb,” treats us to this little thought:
I believe it is immoral and should be illegal for people to have very large numbers of children because they are then co-opting for themselves and their children resources that should be spread elsewhere in the world. You only get a chance to get your fair share.Â
To the follow-up question, “How many is ‘very large’”? Ehrlich responds:
The issue is: What is the political position to take? In a country like the United States, we should stop at two. But if you had an ideal situation, you might have a lot of people who have no children at all, and some people who have as many as three or four because they happen to be particularly good parents, and are going to raise their children very well.Â