LONDON, May 31, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The UK’s Daily Mail has revealed that British women are increasingly eliminating their unborn children because of non life-threatening deformities such as deformed feet or cleft lips and palates. The report also reveals that more Down’s Syndrome babies are now killed than are allowed to be born. With improved screening, the author warns, the trend looks likely to only increase. London’s Metropolitan University ethicist Jacqueline Laing said, ‘These figures are symptomatic of a eugenic trend of the consumerist society hell-bent on obliterating deformity - and at what cost to its own humanity? We are obliterating the willingness of people to accept disability,” Laing continued. “Babies are required to fit a description of normality before they are allowed to be born.”
In the UK, the Abortion Act makes it legal to abort a child right up to its due date if the child is deemed to have a serious risk of mental or physical deformity. Abortions can be carried out for any reason up until the 24th week of pregnancy. Significant increases in abortion rates for children with non-serious deformities such as cleft lips or palates have risen markedly. In 2002, the Office for National Statistics revealed an eight percent increase in this type of abortion. This figure does not include all babies aborted for similar reasons before the 24th week of pregnancy.
“These statistics are horrifying and show the highly consumerist attitude which is now pervading human relationships,” said Joanna Jepson, a Church of England curate. She has repeatedly called for an investigation into the abortion of a 28-week old unborn baby for cleft lip and palate. “I don’t think anyone had any idea that so many babies had been aborted for cleft lip and palate. The fact that two were aborted for cleft lip alone is a slur on people with the condition. “I cannot believe the medical profession are standing by decisions to abort babies for these reasons,” she said. In 2002, 1,863 babies were aborted for reasons of suspected “deformity”—an eight percent increase over the previous 1,722 aborted in 2001, whereas Down’s Syndrome abortions were up by 17 percent from 591 in 2001 to 691 in 2002.
“This is straightforward eugenics,” UK’s LIFE Trustee Nuala Scarisbrick said. “The message is being sent out to disabled people that they should not have been born. It is appalling and abhorrent.”“Such statistics are an indictment of a society which places a conditional value upon its citizens, based upon how ‘useful’ they may prove to be in later life,” LIFE’s Patrick Cusworth said.
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