Abortions of disabled unborn babies see sharp increase

Wed, 24 Jul 2013

Abortions performed on disabled unborn babies increased by 17 per cent last year, new figures reveal.

The news comes as a group of MPs and Peers have called for parliament to review the law on abortion for disabled babies because they say it is outdated and could be discriminatory.

The parliamentary commission, chaired by Fiona Bruce MP, published a report which outlines views that the law is essentially eugenics, which is eliminating undesirable characteristics from society.

Risk

The group has called for Parliament to review the question of allowing abortion on the grounds of the baby being handicapped, given the changes to social attitudes on disability over recent years.

At the moment doctors can approve abortions up to full term if they think there is a “substantial risk” that the child will be seriously handicapped.

Last year, around 2,700 babies were aborted for this reason.

Pushed

The commission said parents are being pushed into having an abortion if their baby is disabled, and in some cases for conditions which could be dealt with after birth such as club foot and cleft lip.

The 2012 abortion statistics for England and Wales showed that in total 185,122 abortions were carried out last year.

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