Utah High School Biology Test Asks Students if Mother Should Have an Abortion
A 40-year-old mother of two is pregnant with a child who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Her doctor has recommended termination of the pregnancy and the parents call the family together to discuss the pregnancy. How should the family decide what to do next?
Students who were taking a final exam for their biology class at an online public high school in Utah were asked to weigh in on this difficult question.
A high school in Utah is under fire for a biology test question that appears to promote abortion.
The question has to do with a genetic test a fictional couple had done to determine if their unborn baby had any disabilities. After the test indicates the unborn child has Down syndrome, a range of possible actions are provided for students to determine which is best — and none of the involve giving birth and loving the bay despite the supposed disability.
The potential answers include: waiting and redoing the genetic testing closer to the baby’s due date; trusting the scientific knowledge of the doctor and going forward with an abortion; prioritizing the wishes of the mother; and considering aspects like religious beliefs, financial burden and the effect on other family members before making “the best decision for everyone.”
A pro-life option is not included.
Note that students were not given the option of choosing an answer such as "recognize that all life is sacred and should always be protected" or "consider that individuals with disabilities are no less human than others in society" or "emphasize that Down syndrome babies are vulnerable and deserve our protection."
Cody Okerlund, a sophomore at Electronic High School, took a picture of the question with his cell phone during the test.
Principal Kathleen Webb told The Salt Lake Tribune that she wasn't sure where the question originated, but that it didn't appear to have been written by the school's biology teacher. She said it was removed from the school's computer-based tests after parent complaints.
"The instant that I found it with [the teacher], we removed it from the test bank," Webb said. "It is not available to students."