By Hilary White
LONDON, October 22, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – As the House of Commons Committee on Science and Technology continues this week to examine Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act, some are warning that eugenic abortion is degrading public perception of people with disabilities.
Britain’s Guild of Catholic Doctors, in a written submission told the Parliamentary committee, “We remain deeply concerned about the use of screening tests to identify children with disabilities before birth when the usual outcome is that the children be killed.”
The Daily Telegraph reports today that statistics on eugenic abortions from the South West Congenital Anomaly Register, show that between 2002 and 2005, fifty-four babies with club foot, 37 with cleft palates or lips and 26 with extra or webbed fingers or toes were “terminated” in the South West of England.
The Guild Doctors warned the Commons Committee warned that the use of abortion to eliminate children with disabilities “creates negative attitudes to all who are disabled when everyone should be accorded equal standing as human beings.”
Even some who generally support abortion are warning of the dangers of eugenic selection. Vincent Argent, a gynecologist and former medical director of one Britain’s largest abortionist organisation, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, told the MP’s that the age limit should be lowered to 16 weeks, pointing to the growing unease in public over late-term abortion and eugenic abortions for minor and treatable conditions such as cleft palates.
As with most countries that have legalised abortion, recent British statistics have shown that over 98 per cent of abortions in the UK are justified under the Abortion Act clauses C and D that allow abortion, with the consent of two doctors, in cases where there may be risks to the “physical or mental health of the woman.” The terms are normally interpreted so loosely as to have provided effective abortion on demand. There are no legal restrictions on abortion if the doctors believe the child might be “seriously handicapped”.
In his evidence to the Committee, Argent told of abuses of the current system of abortion with the consent of two doctors. He told of the signing of batches of consent forms before patients are even seen and forms signed without doctors having met or spoken with patients or reading medical histories. Some, he said, signed consent forms after the abortion had been committed. Others faxed their consent forms to abortion facilities to be used in their absence.
The public unease with such eugenic abortions and with “late-term” abortions was echoed in a rare statement on abortion from the titular head of the Church of England, Dr. Rowan Williams. The Labour government-appointed Archbishop of Canterbury told the Observer newspaper that abortion in Britain had ceased to be a “last resort” and that the public risked losing its “moral focus” on abortion.
Dr. Williams warned of the growing belief that abortion was merely an “individual decision” with little moral weight, instead of “the kind of major moral choice that should involve a sharing of perspective and judgment.”
By Hilary White