Hilary White

News,

Disabled children too costly, should be 'put down': UK councillor

Hilary White

LONDON, March 1, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Disabled children place too great a burden on the country’s nationalized health care and other services and ought to be “put down” to save money, an independent councillor for Wadebridge East in North Cornwall has said. The comments, made to a member of the Disability Cornwall charity at County Hall in Truro in 2011, have cost Collin Brewer his position. He announced yesterday that he will resign.  

At an event organized to help councillors meet and speak with various charities, Brewer approached a stall run by Disability Cornwall. When told about the work of the charity, he responded, “Disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.”

Brewer said the remarks were designed to “provoke a debate” and has apologized. “I was wrong, I admit it,” he told the BBC. “I will continue to apologize.” Since making the comments, Brewer has been under pressure from charities for the disabled and caregiver groups to resign, but had refused until now, saying that it had been nothing but a “flippant remark.”

A spokesman for disability charity Scope said, “To hear such an ill-judged and insensitive statement from a councillor is deeply disturbing and demonstrates that they are clearly not fit for office.”

Brewer said in an interview with BBC Radio Cornwall, “This is my first indiscretion - not that there’s any excuse for that.” Brewer said it is “unlikely” he will be standing as a candidate in upcoming elections in May.

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The incident became known from a report by the council’s standards committee after Disability Cornwall lodged a formal complaint. The committee ordered Brewer’s apology.

The charity has said they have received messages of support from around the world. It issued a statement saying, “It is a shame that it took a formal investigation and 18 months to force the apology we eventually received."

Pro-life advocates have long held that allowing abortion  for children suspected of having a “serious” disability, with no gestational time limit, has resulted in a widespread devaluation of the lives of disabled people. The law was changed in 1990 to allow abortion at any stage of pregnancy if there is a "substantial risk" that the child might be born "seriously handicapped."

According to Department of Health statistics, a total of 2,307 children were killed by "Ground E" abortions in 2011.

Concerns about the effect of unlimited abortion for potentially disabled children has grown to the point where an MP has launched a parliamentary inquiry. Fiona Bruce, a Conservative party backbencher, has pointed to a discrepancy between the provisions of the abortion law and the Equality Act 2010 that protects disabled people from discrimination.

The inquiry is sitting through March and is seeking evidence from parents, medical practitioners, academia, support groups, disability groups, lawyers “and individuals with an interest regarding the current theory, practice, and implications of the approach to abortion on the grounds of disability in the UK.”

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