Unborn babies who are disabled in some way are particularly at risk of abortion, and Ireland is no exception. Using highly emotive language, abortion advocates claim that it is not compassionate to “force” a woman to give birth to a baby who is likely to die shortly after birth, or who would experience years of suffering and misery.
Of course, it is tragic that an unborn baby is found with any kind of disability, be it relatively minor and correctable like a cleft lip, or more serious, even life-threatening. Sadly, there are cases when doctors can do nothing to correct the problem, and the baby dies soon after birth.
Yet… the unborn baby, however disabled, is a unique, irreplaceable, human being; he or she is not an ‘it’, or a mechanical product on an assembly line that will be rejected in the name of ‘quality control’, and replaced with a more acceptable version, as some doctors are known to have assured the mother, “you can always try again.”
Consider this: how do parents typically react if their born child is found to have a terminal illness? Do they want to end his or her life there and then “to spare them suffering”? No. They resolve to surround that child with love and the best medical care until death intervenes.
Why should the disabled unborn child be treated differently, as if he or she was just an ‘it’? Unfortunately, this is what has happened in countries where abortion-on-demand has corrupted the attitudes of doctors and the public alike.
In Britain, after 50 years of legal abortion, where one in five pregnancies now ends in abortion, doctors and nurses involved in abortion regard it as just another procedure which is part of their job. At some stage they decided to ignore the fact that they are dealing with a mother and her child. To them, the disabled child is just a “foetus”. Medicine has become impersonal, and killing that child is simply a matter of ‘correcting a mistake’ of nature.
In the US, typically the first question that an obstetrician asks a woman, once the existence of a pregnancy is confirmed, is whether she wants to keep the baby or have an abortion. Since abortion is treated there as a normal entitlement, even a constitutional right, most obstetricians feel it necessary to ask this question. In the UK, pregnant women are strongly urged to undergo tests to screen for any disability, especially Down syndrome. If something shows up—and uncertainty is not uncommon—they are often strongly urged to abort. A mother who refuses is often made to feel selfish, socially irresponsible and guilty for imposing an extra “burden” on the health service.
Since the diagnosis of a ‘serious disability’ allows an abortion up to birth (Abortion Act 1967), the UK’s National Health Service considers the search for disability as a duty, if for no other reason than to save money. As a result, around 90 percent of Down syndrome babies are aborted, and ever more efficient tests promise to make it 100 percent, as has happened in Iceland.
This is the horrific reality which awaits us in Ireland unless there is a NO vote on May 25th.