The Right to Unnatural Life Falls on Deaf Ears

By Bonnie Chernin Rogoff
Rightgrrl Contributor
Founder, Jews For Life

April 25, 2002

When abortion became legal on January 22, 1973, overnight babies became a product of conception for women to destroy at will. Twenty nine years later, we are witnessing a twist to that choice. Childbirth has become a right, to be conferred by scientists, sociologists and medical ethicists. Babies are no longer a blessing from G-d, but a commodity to satisfy selfish demands.

President Bush made it known in no uncertain terms that he is opposed to all cloning, including that for medical research, for fear it may lead to horrible experimentation that is beyond the scope of government to control. Senator Daschle believes cloning should be available for medical research, despite the tremendous progress being made with adult stem cell research. Democratic opposition to a total cloning ban was predictable; these are the same people who support partial birth abortion to satisfy a woman’s “right to choose.” So why not support the extremes of cloning, especially if it may one day establish a woman’s “right to birth?” Abortion and cloning are opposite sides of the same perversion. If the right to bestow death is a woman’s choice, why shouldn’t the right to bestow life also be a choice, with a little help from a test tube and greedy scientists?

Pro-lifers are bemused that pro-choicers have become proponents of the right to unnatural life. The new creationists are determined to perfect unborn children, weed out any undesirable traits, design eye and hair color, even their sex and sexual preference. Supporters of medical research say a ban on such designer children can be imposed, as long as there are government sanctions against reproductive cloning. Nonsense. Roe v. Wade indicated that there could be state restrictions on abortion. When was the last time you’ve seen any? Were there any pro-aborts who would have expected to see their law cover murder up to the moment of birth? Of course not. Yet, here we are.

Cloning will go the route of abortion, and will proceed without restrictions. We are already headed in that direction, compliments of reproductive endocrinology and artificial insemination. Concerned Women for America recently reported on a very disturbing story that originally appeared in the Washington Post concerning two lesbians living together in Bethesda, Maryland, who decided to design their own child using artificial insemination. The story received limited publicity, but should have been screaming from the headlines. That homosexuals are now granted equal rights with heterosexuals to raise children is alarming and morally reprehensible, but this particular case warrants special attention. You see, these lesbians intentionally designed a handicapped child. Sharon Duchesneau and Candace McCullough are profoundly deaf. Out of sheer selfish motivations that have nothing to do with love, they sought a donor that would increase the odds of conceiving a deaf child.

The two women requested help from the local sperm bank which rejected their request, so the women turned to a deaf male friend who became a donor. His sperm was implanted into Sharon’s womb, and Candace will be the “adoptive” parent. This wasn’t the first time their friend assisted with artificial reproduction; the lesbians previously designed a deaf daughter, now age 5, courtesy the same donor. All signs indicate Sharon’s recently born son is deaf, too.

Perusing the article, “A World of Their Own,” it is difficult to feel anything but contempt for these women. The article’s author, Liza Mundy, goes to great lengths to defend their “choice,” highlighting their educational and professional accomplishments. The lesbians do not see deafness as a handicap but as a “cultural identity.” Like the Nazi leaders, who were also quite intelligent and well-educated, this duo wants to create their own version of the “perfect” human race. However, most people consider deafness a disability, and are horrified that anyone would impose an unnecessary medical affliction on a child with one goal in mind: to please the self. Sharon, the birthmother, expresses her view:

“It would be nice to have a deaf child who is the same as us. I think that would be a wonderful experience. You know, if we can have that chance, why not take it?”

Us. We. Parenting revolves around her and her friend’s needs. Forget whether it is good for the child. Sharon’s daughter is already enrolled at the Maryland School for the Deaf. Read on, and it becomes obvious that little Jehanne was designed with a motive in mind:

The social butterflies: “For Sharon and Candy, one of the great advantages of having a deaf child is that it gives them a built-in social life. Like most parents, they socialize a lot with the parents of their children’s friends, and at MSD, many of the parents are deaf.”

The good life: “They also see the school as one way to ensure that Jehanne doesn’t endure the loneliness and isolation that they did. By raising her among deaf children, they feel she’s getting a much stronger start in life.”

Imagine how strong a start little Jehanne would have had with hearing! Nonetheless, Liza Mundy is sympathetic to the lesbians’ decision, despite the fact that their children are afflicted with profound deafness:

“Why not bring a deaf child into the world? What, exactly, is the problem? In their minds, they are no different from parents who try to have a girl. After all, girls can be discriminated against. Same with deaf people.”

The problem is that deafness is not the same as “girlness.” Being a female is not a handicap or hindrance to success. It does not make any sense, as the deaf pair maintains throughout the piece, that being hearing-impaired is no more a disadvantage than being poor, or black. Whatever drawbacks there are being a minority or part of a low income group in America, there is no comparison with having a physical disability. Skin color does not affect performance or interfere with one’s skills or ability to achieve; deafness does. What happens when people decide it would be a good idea to bring children into the world with only one arm? Or blind? Pick your affliction, and freedom of choice is there to fix it for you.

Creating a child in one’s image implies more than simply physical characteristics, such as eye color, hair color and body type. It implies creating an individual that will one day be apart from you, a unique being that will contribute in a positive way to society by using his or her talents and gifts. Why would anyone who professes to love children set out to deliberately rob them of their full potential? Perhaps it comes down to sexual preference, as the politically correct call it. As a civil rights group, homosexuals are unique in their egoism, demanding acceptance even from those who find their behavior morally repugnant. Is it so surprising that lesbians who shun societal mores by openly flaunting their relationship are willing to sacrifice their children’s future health and happiness on behalf of their own convenience? Let’s not forget, these two children were not born deaf, they were made that way.

Sharon insisted they would love a hearing child as much. “A hearing baby would be a blessing. A deaf baby would be a special blessing.”

There was a time when all babies were considered blessings, even unplanned ones. Adoption was the preferred life-affirming alternative. That all changed in 1973 with Roe v. Wade. Ironically, New York Post pro-abortion writer Andrea Peyser defends the legal right to kill up to birth – even the horrific partial birth abortion method - but she is horrified by the deliberate planning of these two deaf children. That’s what happens when you assign rights to women without concern for the unborn child. Pro-choicers, don’t complain, this is your handiwork, and your cries will now be falling on deaf ears.

Copyright 2002 by Bonnie Chernin Rogoff. Not to be reproduced in any fashion, in whole or in part, without written consent from the author. All rights reserved.