TDs: Amend the Bill to ban abortion for disability - families say their communities will be wiped out
Health Minister, Simon Harris, is seeking to rush abortion legislation through the Dáil which would establish, in Ireland, one of the most liberal abortion regimes in Europe.
He is REFUSING to listen to parents and families of people with disabilities who are pleading with him to amend the Abortion Bill to BAN abortion on disability grounds.
They say that abortion will "wipe out" the communities they belong to - disability communities who have worked so hard to make progress over the past few decades.
And the evidence they offer is as compelling as it is heartbreaking.
They point out that in Britain, 90% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted before birth. In Denmark, that figure has now reached a terrible 98% of all babies thus diagnosed, having their lives ended in the womb.
Speaking at the Citizen's Assembly, Dr Peter McParland of the National Maternity Hospital observed that not one baby with Down syndrome had been born in Iceland over a 4 year period. They had all been aborted.
And, 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.
Disability Voices for Life say that Harris' claim, that abortion on disability grounds does not need to be specifically outlawed, is bogus.
They point out that, in Germany, the law does not specify that abortion can be carried out on the grounds of a disability, but, just as in Simon Harris' 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.
These brave parents have asked Simon Harris to amend the bill as 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."
Their appeal to all TDs is deeply moving - and we need to support these parents, TODAY.
"Surely, as a compassionate, progressive nation, these heartbreaking outcomes should give us pause," they say.
"We are simply asking you, and the Irish people, to prevent this from happening in Ireland. We are asking you to protect our children’s communities. 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 you do not act, this will be its assured outcome. As a politician with a vote who can amend this Bill, you now have the opportunity to protect people with disabilities. Please do not fail us or fail our children."
So TODAY, please email Simon Harris and your TDs to ask them to make this crucial, life-saving amendment - and point out for them that if they refuse, they are responsible for the eradication of people with disabilities, and for that most cruel and irreversible loss to society. Thank you!
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Amend the Bill to ban abortion for disability - families say their communities will be wiped out