Precious Life welcomes UN Disability Committee rejection of abortion on disability grounds

  • Precious Life welcomes UN Disability Committee rejection of abortion on disability grounds
  • Precious Life welcomes UN Disability Committee rejection of abortion on disability grounds

The submission of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) says that allowing abortion on disability grounds violates the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The UN Disability Rights body wrote specifically that "Laws which explicitly allow for abortion on grounds of impairment violate the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Articles 4, 5 and 8)."

The value of a human life cannot be ranked based on whether that baby has a disability or not. Our society promotes equality so often and the importance to treat everyone equally, including all people with disabilities, yet people are pushing for the killing of babies with disabilities in the womb in the most brutal, regressive way. There have been many babies who have been predicted not to survive who have and are now thriving and loving life. The CRPD actually pointed out that "often it cannot be said if an impairment is fatal" on the grounds that "experience shows that assessments on impairment conditions are often false."

The term fatal foetal abnormality isn’t even credible as it isn’t even a medical term and the UN Committee added that even if the diagnosis of a life-limiting condition is correct, the ‘incompatible with life’ label "perpetuates notions of stereotyping disability as incompatible with a good life."  Academic commentators have described the label as not only inaccurate but also dangerous as lethality begets lethality i.e. poor diagnosis can lead to negative attitudes and subsequently poorer care and love towards these human beings. 90% of babies with Down’s Syndrome are aborted in the UK yet they have a very good standard of living and a long lifespan as well as their beautiful humanity and infectious happiness.

There is no human right to abortion in any international legal instrument including the European Convention on Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In fact, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child actually emphasises the need for special safeguards, care and legal protection for unborn children.

Ireland has not yet ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, despite lobbying by disability care and advocacy groups. Gemma Bradley, from every life counts, desribed abortion on babies with disabilities as a "grave breach of human rights." Precious Life want to congratulate Mattie McGrath TD for his bravery and compassion for submitting a Private Members Bill to the Dáil on this issue.

At the conference the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care it was stated that: 'As medical practitioners and researchers, we declare that the term "incompatible with life" is not a medical diagnosis and should not be used when describing unborn children who may have a life-limiting condition'. The Declaration also calls for better perinatal care for families in this situation. Stanton Healthcare Belfast is a perfect example of the caring, compassionate and life-affirming care and support pregnant women and unborn babies need. We should be promoting and investing in beautiful, life-saving places like Stanton.


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