The success of the Paralympics should trigger a rethink of Britain’s abortion laws to make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy because a child will be born disabled, a coalition of campaigners and charities argues today.
For there is a problem with the law as it stands:
An alliance of pro-life campaigners and religious groups is launching a new push to restrict the 1967 Abortion Act, to prevent doctors terminating pregnancies on the grounds of physical abnormality.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, they describe the practice of aborting foetuses on physical grounds as a form of “eugenics”.
The letter, signed by leading figures from groups such as Life and the Pro-Life Alliance, as well as the Catholic Bishops Conference of Scotland and a number of evangelical Christian groups, argues that the current law enshrines a form of disability discrimination.
Also among the nine signatories is Peter Elliott, a businessman who founded the Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK, after the birth of his son, David, in 1985.
The signatories say that while pregnancies can be terminated even up to 40 weeks on physical grounds in certain circumstances, the moment the child is born a “moral volte-face” is performed and the official approach is “full of compassion”.
We have a law that says that no one can or should discriminate against the disabled. We\’ve just had that extravaganza celebrating the achievements of the disabled. And yet in another part of the law we have a specific discrimination against the disabled.
A fetus/baby at 36 weeks is recognizably more a human being than it is anything else. But one with a club foot can be killed and one without cannot. That is discrimination.
Noe, I know it\’s all very rare, know that there are indeed times when what is there is definitely not a human (say, lacking a brain at all).
But there is, if you don\’t want to call it a problem, at least an illogicality here.