But if, like me, you are a disabled mother-to-be, there will be one more question from the well-meaning inquirer. Unlike the others, this may not actually be spoken, but it will be there, teetering on the tip of their tongue, while they wonder nervously whether it would be politically correct to take the plunge. What people really want to ask is: “Could that rogue of a gene that causes your sight loss have tumbled from one generation to the next, afflicting your unborn child with more than just your genetic predisposition for being bad-tempered or having big ears?….if, like me, you know that impairment need not be synonymous with “low quality of life” and that the “pain and suffering” we seek to avoid are largely inflicted not by the physicality of the disability itself but by the negative attitudes of others does pre-natal screening still feel like logical scientific progress? Something I am happy to buy into to ensure my first-born is top-notch? Or is it just a covert attempt to purify the human race of folk who don’t come up to scratch, veiled in the guise of parental choice?
Abortion has always been a clear-cut issue for me. I’ve shut the door in the faces of anti-abortion campaigners. I’ve kicked over the candles of vigil-holders brandishing plastic foetuses in tiny coffins as they heckled women visiting the abortion clinic near my home. I’ve always been a pro-choice feminist, firm in the belief that reproductive destiny belongs to the individual and choices to terminate should be made free from the value judgment of others.”