Abuse of pre-birth screening is bad medicine

Pre-birth screening can give false results and condemn healthy children to death. It can diagnose a disability but not the degree of subsequent handicap, which will depend on many things, including our response to it. So many unborn children are being killed whose handicap might have been very slight.
If we kill mongols in the womb, why try to cure mongolism itself? If we kill spina bifida children in utero we remove an incentive to develop inter-uterine and neo-natal surgery. What other complaints are treated by killing the patient? And what humbug to say that we are thereby conquering the diseases!
Mothers are being pressurised into agreeing in advance to abortion if screening reveals abnormality. Is this liberation? What about the mother who has to live the rest of her life knowing that she consented to a child being killed who might not have been handicapped at all, or only slightly? What about the mother who refuses abortion? She is already being sneered at as irresponsible, even selfish.

It is bad for all of us

No one pretends handicap is easy to cope with. It requires courage and generosity. So do many worthwhile things.
A primitive fear of deformity lurks in most of us. Aborting the handicapped may masquerade as humanitarian but it abuses our compassion towards suffering and fosters our fear of abnormality. So just when we have made much progress in removing the stigma and guilt feelings attached to handicap, we are putting them back!
Modern medicine is in a position never before attained in history to conquer mankind・s afflictions, so why are we now so defeatist? Some children・s societies which have taught us most about meeting the challenge of handicap actively promote the killing of handicapped children before birth. Why this betrayal of principles?
A society which destroys its unborn .cripples・ will quickly be corrupted in its attitude to born ones. We know that some spina bifida children are already being .sedated to death・ at birth. Why stop there? Why not kill any handicapped person?

The double standard

We now have a Minister for the Disabled. The Disabled Persons Employment Acts give special protection to the handicapped. Guide dogs, .possum・ machines, specially-converted vehicles, etc. offer them undreamt-of independence. We provide ramps on pavements, seats on buses, specially-designed toilets, and so on.
So we really seem to care about them (the physically disabled, anyway) and give them a fair deal. We accept, help and treat them as equals as never before in our history.
But it is different if they are unborn. We have no hesitation in using modern science to search them out and kill on sight. No acceptance, no help, no equality for them.

What you can do

Killing unborn babies for being abnormal is barbarous. We are on the slippery slope to 1984 and sinister .Master Race・ elitism.
We must protest. Born handicapped people must speak out and tell how they lead happy, fulfilled lives. Society must show care and compassion for its weakest members V unborn children and especially disabled unborn ones.
Ask for more research into positive pre-and post natal treatment of disability. Make sure that national societies dedicated to helping handicapped children reject the abuse of pre-birth screening and stand up for all those whom they exist to protect.
Help fellow-citizens to see that, born or unborn, the handicapped are precious human beings who should be love and cherished, not sought out and destroyed.
Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

(an extract from the leaflet published by LIFE)







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