Rape, incest, and life of the mother are the most agreeable exceptions for abortion. These exceedingly rare cases range well under 5% of all abortions. A recent study in Florida showed just how exceedingly rare abortions with an actual reason other than birth control are. The report showed that less than 1.5 percent of the abortions were for the physical health of the mother, around one percent of the cases involved serious fetal abnormalities, .14 percent were because of rape, and .01 percent were because of incest. Florida ranks disproportionately high when it comes to abortions, thanks to their numerous providers. But one of these things is not like the other, or perhaps two. Incest as well as fetal anomalies could very well be equated in this instance, yet incest, more than fetal anomalies is a far greater concern if no exceptions are provided.
Why Incest isn’t Wincest
“King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.” Ser Barristan Selmy
We know from the history of royal houses and animal breeding that incest produces all sorts of undesirable traits. A search of the most common traits show that the Hapsburg jaw, hemophilia, missing fingernails, misshapen skulls, missing bones or fused limbs, and a number of other minor or life debilitating traits arises from inbreeding humans. Having yet find a desirable outcome, genetically, one mitigating factor seems to be infertility.
“Victims” of Incest
I have heard people in the pro-abortion crowd use the phrase “victims of incest and rape” equating incest to the same atrocity as rape. While the two are not mutually exclusive, when giving reasons for abortion, the reasons should be ranked. In this case, rape ranks as the abortion reason over incest if the situation was an incestuous rape. In the context of abortion, incest should refer to killing a baby that was created through consensual sex. Therefore these are not no victims.
Eliminating Negative Traits
The primary reason that incest is bad is genetic. And for that reason, many species in nature have anti-incest measures to promote genetic heterogeneity. In agrarian society, when we see negative trait in livestock, we cull the animal to protect the herd. In fact, culling seems to be the most permissible abortion practice among countries around the world.
Other countries aren’t lagging too far behind in Down syndrome termination rates. According to the most recent data available, the United States has an estimated termination rate for Down syndrome of 67 percent (1995-2011); in France it’s 77 percent (2015); and Denmark, 98 percent (2015). The law in Iceland permits abortion after 16 weeks if the fetus has a deformity — and Down syndrome is included in this category.
It seems there is a general consensus that while incest is detrimental to the gene pool, chromosomal abnormalities are worse. Instead of likening abortion due to incest with rape, abortion due to incest should be equated to aborting disabled fetuses. It’s eugenics, plain and simple. So here is the question that is a struggle to answer: why is incest the focus on exceptions but not disabilities?
The only answer I can think of is marketing. Inbreeding is gross regardless of risk of pregnancy, though an inbred human is more functional than someone with a chromosomal anomaly. But there are a number of disabled people in our country who would balk at the practice of culling the human stock under the honest and overt reason of disability. Killing people for disability is seen as wrong, even to the point of a hate crime. Incest, in contrast, has a deeply entrenched taboo, or genetic wiring, associated with it thus making the exception, as it relates to abortion, an easier sell to the public. It’s purely eugenics, just with extra steps.
But these extra steps are easier to fake. After all, is an abortion mill going to DNA test the child to ensure that the biological parents were related. And if so, before or after they kill it? America has the most permissive abortion laws in the west, people who slept with their siblings would simply omit that detail out of embarrassment. Being so rare of a stated reason for abortion, if incest remained a codified exception, it seems certain that the number of stated cases would increase.
The issue of fraud will surely exist as faking inbreeding seems less consequential than faking rape. The legal exception would give way to fraud and create a slippery slope of codified eugenics, especially as it relates to disability. For this reason, incest has no place in the abortion debate. Thus, if the pro-abortion side wants to use this as a hill to die on, we should press on against their defense of eugenics.