CW: Termination of pregnancies, amniocentesis, pre-natal testing, eugenics
Edit: This is just a focus group at this point, but it is terrifying none-the-less.
Spectrum 10k is being run by a team from the Autism Research Centre (ARC) attached to the University of Cambridge. The scandalous research project has been a source of contention for a couple of years now, with researchers showing their flagrant disregard for the wishes and wellbeing of Autistic people in overt ways. Despite their claims that this project has no ties to eugenics, a leaked communication from ARC has now confirmed their intentions.
Find images below
The above images detail a project that will use amniocentesis to investigate hormone levels during pregnancy and how that relates to the development of autism in infants. This is troubling for a number of reasons.
You have probably heard of amniocentesis if you have had a child. It’s a test that involves taking a sample of amniotic fluid from the womb. Typically, this is used to test for Down Syndrome. If a pregnancy is found to test positive, the mother is offered the opportunity to terminate the pregnancy. Regardless of the complex reasons why someone might choose this, it is still eugenics.
Amniocentesis represents a huge ethical issue in medicine. Not only does it put the viability of a pregnancy at risk, it also provides parents with the opportunity to abort disabled children. It raises questions about quality of life, and right to life. Many people have this test, it is an everyday occurrence. Unfortunately, most people are not active in disability communities and can not conceive of why such practices are harmful and upsetting to our community.
In fact, doctors and midwives can be very pushy about amniocentesis. I have heard stories of mothers being tricked into consenting to the test. It highlights an issue where disabled people are viewed as less-than human and as a drain on resources and parental wellbeing. We ate told it is a kindness to prevent the birth of disabled people because we have been conditioned into believing that disability is a tragedy.
So why is it significant that the ARC is running this study?
It has one logical conclusion. The development of a pre-natal test for autism, that will allow for the termination of Autistic pregnancies. When you consider this alongside the Spectrum 10k project, it really shows just how desperate this research centre are to end the existence of Autistic people.
This sort of research comes from the twisted “ethics” of people who are so unaware of their own privilege that they are unable to conceive of Autistic people’s humanity. These people do not care for Autistic people. They only care about eradicating us. Neuronormativity in society has reached a terminal point, where we are willing to end the lives of people who are unlikely to conform to cultural norms.
If you threaten the status quo, they threaten your right to life.
Simon Baron-Cohen and his team are eugenicists. There isn’t any question about it. The research that has come from them over the years has been harmful (to say the least), but now the future of the Autistic community is in jeopardy. All Autistic people have a right to life, no matter how inconvenient it is for others.
I ask any of you who are approached to join this project to refuse. Tell them why they are harmful. Tell them why we will not stand for this flagrant disregard for the sanctity of Autistic lives.
We owe it to the Autistic people yet to come to make this kind of research unviable. It needs to have career ending ramifications for anyone who tries to end us.