Reader's Blog: Eradicating people with disabilities

We are families of children with disabilities, or people living with a disability, and we are asking Simon Harris to amend the abortion bill to ensure that abortion on disability grounds is outlawed in Ireland.

Otherwise, our communities will be wiped out by the same abortion rates that have led to 98% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome being aborted in Denmark.

We are asking that the bill be amended by adding this head to the current proposal: “A procedure to terminate a pregnancy shall be unlawful if carried out solely on the ground that the foetus is diagnosed as having or is apprehended as having a disability.”

In Britain, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted before birth. Speaking at the Citizen’s Assembly, Peter McParland of the National Maternity Hospital observed that not one baby with Down syndrome had been born in Iceland over a four-year period. They had all been aborted.

In Germany, the law does not specify that abortion can be carried out on the grounds of a disability, but, just as in the current proposal, neither is it outlawed. More than 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in Germany are aborted on grounds of a threat to the mental health of the woman, and a similar clause is also

included in the Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy Bill.

This trend is not confined to babies diagnosed with Down syndrome. Three studies examining abortion after a prognosis of spina bifida showed that between 66% and 78% of babies were aborted across Europe, while studies also suggest that 47% of babies diagnosed with congenital heart disease have their lives ended by abortion.

Surely, as a compassionate, progressive nation, these heart-breaking outcomes should give us pause. We have yet to hear one valid reason as to why the amendment we propose should not be included.

The eradication of people with disabilities may not be a stated objective of the abortion bill, but if Simon Harris does not act, this will be its assured outcome.

Vicky Wallon behalf of the 101 parents and families for Disability Voices for Life

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