Call for ban on disability abortions after Paralympics

The Pro Life Alliance was one of the signatories to the following letter published in the Daily Telegraph on the 19th of September 2012.

'SIR – A special-needs child in the womb can be aborted at up to 40 weeks.  But once he or she is born we do a moral volte-face and become full of compassion.

The recent Paralympics  made this contradiction yet more glaring.  The athletes produced such astonishing examples of courage and triumph over disability that we now have to re-think what we mean by ‘disabled' and ‘able'.

Eugenic abortion is bad medicine. Killing people with disabilities, rather than striving to support and care for them, is contrary to the high principles of medicine.

We should be proud of Britain’s unique programme of children's hospices and Zoe's Place baby hospices. These are an example of a positive, civilised response to the challenge of disability.

We encourage Parliament to repeal the discriminatory section of the Abortion Act 1967, which allows eugenic abortion up to birth, and instead to promote research into disabilities which, once diagnosed, currently amount  to a prenatal death sentence.'

Dominica Roberts, one of the signatories and Chairman of the ProLife Alliance, makes following comment:

'An article by John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor of the Telegraph, mentions that there were 146 abortions after the 24-week limit in 2011 in England and Wales out of a total of almost 190,000. In total there were more than 500 abortions after screening for Down’s Syndrome.

An abortion rights speaker claimed that “Using terms like 'eugenic abortion' is an insult to people who are faced with this difficult choice" and, rather oddly, spoke of us using it as a "political football".

Of course none of us blames the families involved.  We wish our laws had protected their babies, and given them the extra help needed, instead of the negative quick-fix of abortion.

A spokesman for the Department of Health is quoted as saying "The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' guideline on abortion and foetal abnormality is clear that a woman needs sufficient information and time to help her understand the nature of the foetal abonormality and the probable outcome of the pregnancy so that she is able to make an informed decision about the options available to her"

In reality parents are not often given either much time to think calmly, or positive information from those who have brought up children with disabilities.

The proper response is to continue our efforts  to protect and support them and their families all their lives.'