A very dear friend wrote to say that he is taking part in a fund raiser that will benefit the March of Dimes (MOD) citing his admirable frustration over preterm birth and lauding MOD's commitment to preventing it. After all, as he wrote, MOD's mission is to "improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality." Well, we all want that. However some of us do not believe in health by death and are aware of the evidence that suggests that's exactly what MOD is advocating.
As I say, this gentleman is a valued friend. He has supported me in endeavors that are extremely important to me, and there isn't much I wouldn't do for him. However, when he asked me to participate in this fund raiser, via donation, it broke my heart, because I have to say no. And while I'm not obligated to provide an explanation, and while he probably doesn't at all want to know why, and while it may injure his feelings or our rewarding friendship...I am going to provide a reason...and an alternative.
My awkward but careful (considerate) explanation will consist of these two points:
1. I suspect that one of MOD’s agendas is in fact eugenics (via the one-two combo of prenatal testing and TOP [termination of pregnancy]), and what I know about MOD (and their various advisory committee members, grants, etc.) does not convince me otherwise, despite their declarations to the contrary.
2. I’m fairly convinced that TOP (particularly repeat and advanced term) can increase the risk of preterm birth1-2 (which could explain why there are more cases of preterm birth today than twenty years ago when repeat and advanced term TOP rates were lower).3
I will craft and publish this note leaving out any identifying particulars in hopes that it can help someone else who encounters any sort of similar sticky wicket with a friend.