Aborting away the Special Olympics?

As I approached my 21st first week in pregnancy I received a letter in the post, belatedly, to come along to the local maternity hospital for my 20 week scan. Along with the letter came an unwelcome enclosure: a euphemistically titled  “survey of the Down Syndrome screening process”.

I was horrified. Why has our society, with all its claims of open mindedness and of being free from prejudice and and judgement, embraced this rush to condemn the most vulnerable groups of people – and to condemn them to the point of death?  According to a recent report, in the UK, where I live, 92% of babies who  are likely to have Down Syndrome, have those children aborted.  Yet we claim to have separated our selves from old-fashioned draconian thinking where children with special needs were looked on as different and hidden away from society. How much worse are we now?

It’s through emotive arguments that we permit the worst atrocities.  The document I received describes the screening for Down Syndrome as a ‘woman’s choice’ because raising a child with special needs might be difficult. So policy makers and the media use our emotions to persuade us that the eugenocide of certain groups of people should be permitted – to abort those with special needs. We have seen this especially evident in Ireland where in the D case and the ABC case, emotive arguments were used and abused in order to manipulate our legal system and our political representatives into accepting the horrendous murder of defenseless unborn children.

We have to ask ourselves how did we get here?  Have we lost all rational thinking where we, on one hand rejoice in the Special Olympics, and on the other agree that it’s permissible to deny children with special needs the right to life – the most fundamental right of all.

In the recent proposed (and defeated) abortion legislation put before the Dáil, certain Irish TDs  emotively claimed that abortion is medically necessary in cases where a woman’s health is at risk. Statistically speaking, according to the United Nations and the World Health Organisation , Ireland’s medical treatment of pregnant women is second to none.  The care given to expectant mothers greatly surpasses that of the UK and the majority of other countries where abortion is freely available.

So we must ask ourselves if Ireland legislates for the murder of unborn children, where will it end?  Here in the UK recently two stories recently topped the headlines.  The first concerned the undercover exposé of sex-selecton abortions taking place in British clinics, and the other an article in the British Journal of Medical Ethic entitled, “After-Birth Abortion, why should a baby live,” demonstrated how far society will take the abuse of the term ‘a woman’s right to choose’.

Screening children to ensure that those with a disability won’t be born, isn’t about choice: it’s about eugenics. We need to stop before we’ve aborted away the Special Olympics in the name of choice.




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