Spina Bifida Family Support
"Families Helping Families"
Abortion Of Disabled Babies Increasing at Alarming Rate
June 1, 2004
Abortions of babies with Down's syndrome, deformed feet, cleft lips and palates, as well as other medical abnormalities, have become more and more commonplace, according to statistics recently released by the Office For National Statistics in England and Wales.
The latest numbers from 2002 found that more women are choosing to abort their babies who may have some form of handicap. These kinds of abortions spiked by 8 percent over the previous year.
Of Down's syndrome babies, 690 were aborted in 2002, an increase of 17 percent over the 2001 total of 591.
More babies were aborted in 2002 who had Down's syndrome (372) than those that were born with the disease (329).
In 2002, five babies were aborted for deformed feet and another was killed because of a cleft lip and palate.
Also, in 2000 and 2001 combined, nine babies were the victims of abortion because of a cleft lip and palate while two more babies were also aborted for having a cleft lip.
Rev. Joanna Jepson, a curate with the Church of England who fought on behalf of an aborted baby in a 2001 High Court case, said she is outraged at these statistics because they are an insult to surviving humans with these conditions.
"These statistics are horrifying and show the highly consumerist attitude which is now pervading human relationships" because abortion has become too commonplace, Jepson exclaimed in a story reported on The Drudge Report.
She argued in the court case that an abortion for a cleft lip and palate under the 1967 Abortion Act does not constitute a "serious handicap."
"I don't think anyone had any idea that so many babies had been aborted for cleft lip and palate," Jepson continued on Drudge. "The fact that two were aborted for cleft lip alone is a slur on people with the condition."
She said she is shocked that doctors are not doing something to regulate these kinds of abortions from happening.
"I cannot believe the medical profession is standing by decisions to abort babies for these reasons," Jepson expressed on Drudge.
Some are blaming the birth defects on women over 40, whose babies are more likely to have problems such as spina bifida, heart defects, and Down's syndrome.
And because of the technological advances in the detection of birth defects prior to birth, more and more women are choosing to end the life of their baby despite the fact that most of these conditions can be corrected once the baby is born.
Abortions for babies who may be at risk of having a physical or mental condition or are deemed life-threatening are considered legal for any reason throughout the entire pregnancy according to Ground E of the Abortion Act in England.
According to the latest data published in the Health Statistics Quarterly from the Office for National Statistics for the National Congenital Anomaly System (NCAS) from 2002, 1,863 babies were aborted under this law compared with the 1,722 in 2001.
Of the 185,000 abortions conducted each year in Great Britain, most are considered for "social" reasons. A two-doctor panel makes the final decision about whether the pregnant woman will be better off physically and mentally if she has the baby or aborts it.
This system virtually guarantees that women who want to have an abortion for any reason can do it.
London Metropolitan University ethics professor Jacqueline Laing said aborting babies because they have deformities is making the world a savage place.
"We are obliterating the willingness of people to accept disability," Laing noted in the Drudge story. "Babies are required to fit a description of normality before they are allowed to be born."
Nuala Scarisbrick, a trustee with a British pro-life group called LIFE, said these increases in abortion statistics are disturbing to people with disabilities.
"The message is being sent out to disabled people that they should not have been born," Scarisbrick commented on Drudge. "It is appalling and abhorrent."
LIFE's Patrick Cusworth added that women are being forced to kill their babies if any defects are found whatsoever.
"We fear that these statistics indicate that women whose unborn children are even suspected as having special needs are being placed under increased pressure to have abortions," Cusworth contended to The Scotsman. "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."
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