British Government Criticized for Keeping Abortions on Disabled Babies a Secret
by Steven Ertelt
December 8, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The government of Britain is coming under heavy fire for keeping secret the number of abortions purposefully done on babies because they are physically or mentally disabled. The abortions include those done on babies who would have been born with only a club foot or cleft palate.
The information commissioner ordered the release of the numbers to be a part of a new report showing the total abortions in England over the last six months.
However the Department of Health is resisting and claiming that the release of the numbers, even though that have been released in prior years, would somehow identify the women having the abortions. Yet, any personal information is redacted.
The law in the UK allows abortions for any reason up to 24 weeks into pregnancy and for reasons including possible birth defects for the unborn child at any time during the pregnancy.
Pro-life groups are concerned that the law is being abused by those who want to use it for eugenics purposes by killing potentially disabled babies.
"It is a disgraceful situation for this data to be suppressed," Professor Stuart Campbell, a leading obstetrician, said in response to the news. "This is not about whether one agrees with abortion. These statistics used to be published; now they are being withheld."
"Transparency is the essence of medicine. If we don’t have that, all sorts of wrongdoing can go on," Campbell added.
In 2005, the health department stopped publishing the numbers of abortions in cases where less than ten were done, including the various cases that include disabled babies.
American bioethicist Wesley J. Smith also commented on the situation and said that transparency isn’t the solution — respecting the disabled is the answer.
"This is what we are becoming, aborting viable fetuses because they will not be physically perfect–and the UK government wishes to keep it all under wraps," he said.
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