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Lord Shinkwin:Licence to kill disabled people




Tory peer Lord Shinkwin warns Britain’s abortion laws are a ‘licence to kill disabled people’


By Laura Hughes, political correspondent 10 MARCH 2017

A Conservative peer has described Britain's abortion laws as "a licence to kill for the crime of being disabled".


Lord Shinkwin, who has been disabled since birth, warned that disabled foetuses were being “killed in record numbers” 

He also accused the medical establishment of treating disability "as a tragedy to be eradicated through abortion".

The peer proposed a Bill in parliament that would have seen all abortions banned after 24 weeks,  but it was defeated this week.

At present, an abortion can take place as late as necessary if tests indicate that the child may be disabled when born. There is a legal limit of 24 weeks for abortions on other grounds. 

Lord Shinkwin was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, a rare genetic brittle bone disease.

In an article for The House magazine, he said that between 2005 and 2015, the number of abortions of disable babies increased by 68 per cent.

The peer added that 90 per cent of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted.

He said: "Soon, like Iceland, we could be Down’s Syndrome-free. What a shame the eugenicists ignore the inconvenient truth that that involves killing lots of little disabled human beings before they’re born."

"There’s something deeply disturbing about non-disabled politicians spouting equality and then in the same breath defending a law which is being used as a licence to kill for the crime of being disabled.

"I ask what message it sends if, after birth, I’m good enough for the House of Lords but, before birth, I’m only good enough for the incinerator.

"Too many in the medical establishment still view congenital disability as a tragedy to be eradicated through abortion.

"The institutional prejudice runs so deep that the whole system is in denial. What hope for worried parents or their disabled babies?

"The irony is that this isn’t really about abortion. Ultimately, it’s about power, the power of non-disabled people to determine the fate of other – disabled – human beings, whether we should live or whether we should die. Prejudice must not prevail."

Abortions for non-medical reasons are legal until 24 weeks, but terminations on grounds of sex of the foetus are illegal under the 1967 Abortion Act.