Almost five years ago, Nigel M. de S. Cameron wrote an insightful and prophetic article connecting the practice of abortion to what is now a bioethics revolution against the dignity of human life:
As we approach the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a new and ever more complex threat to the dignity of humankind lies on the horizon. The struggle for the dignity of the unborn is unrelenting. More slowly than many predicted, the challenge of euthanasia continues to gain ground. Yet side by side with them both comes the revolution in biotechnology. Heralded by cloning, the first great battle in this war on human nature, the broader biotech agenda has hardly begun to catch our attention. Yet it threatens to overshadow every other issue in the fight for the sanctity and dignity of life.
Because abortion is not, ultimately, about just the killing of the unborn; it is about the power to kill - the power of some human beings over others, the power of the born over the unborn, the unbridled power of one generation to make life and death decisions about the next. Abortion kills the unborn, but not as an end in itself. It kills them in order to demonstrate that mothers and fathers and doctors and the courts will always have the final say in determining the life of the unborn. It kills them to underline our ultimate authority over the generation to come.I'll leave the commentary to others because at the moment I'm simply speechless.
The challenges that we are now facing are much more subtle than abortion and destructive experiments on embryos. For the same reason, they are even more dangerous. Like live-birth cloning, in round one, though they may hazard human life that is not their intent. Their intent is to give us control - not through the primitive barbarism of aborting the unborn, but through the new, sophisticated barbarism of designing the born. Our intuition is unprepared, as our hesitant response on the issue of live-birth cloning demonstrates. Yet if we understand that the fundamental issue is one of control, we see a subtle and sinister threat in designer babies that puts the old barbarities of abortion in the shade. This new kind of crime does not simply destroy people made in God's image; it makes people in our own. We can no more weigh this new crime against the old than we can, to take a parallel case, weigh homicide against life-long enslavement; or, to take another highly relevant parallel, the crime of Cain against Abel against the thoroughly technological hubris of the builders of the Tower of Babel. The new class of crime threatens to transcend the old. Abortion, the killing of the unwanted and defective, comes into its own as a subset in the eugenic, designer, control agenda of the brave new biotech world.