Vietnamese fetuses, deformed and stillborn as a result of Agent Orange.
A child at the Ba Vi orphanage, part of the third generation of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange and other chemicals used by the U.S. military a half-century ago.
In my book Sex and Herbs and Birth Control I made a glancing reference to the risk of birth defects as a possible reason why women and their partners might decide to abort a fetus. But I did not touch upon the ethical issues surrounding such decisions.
Recently I read Tine Gammeltoft’s Haunting Images: A Cultural Account of Selective Reproduction in Vietnam. Vietnam has an exceedingly high incidence of fetuses with catastrophic abnormalities, a large proportion of which are the legacy of the use of Agent Orange and other toxic chemicals by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. These chemicals are still causing massive congenital defects three generations…
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