Over the past five years, the number of unborn babies who have been aborted because of cleft lips or palates has almost tripled in England, the Daily Mail reported.
The surge in abortions has been attributed to a new prenatal screening test that detects if unborn babies have a cleft lip or cleft palate. After the test diagnoses their unborn child, new government statistics show that more parents decide to abort their baby, although both cleft lips and palates can be corrected easily with surgery.
According to the British Department of Health, between 2011 and 2012, four abortions were performed on babies because of cleft lips or palates; this figure increase to 11 in 2015. Between 2013 and 2015, 30 unborn babies were aborted in England because of the condition, according to the report.
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Advocates for life are concerned about this trend of aborting babies who are considered less than perfect. The All Party Parliamentary Pro-life Group Chairwoman Fiona Bruce stated her concern to the Daily Mail.
“It is deeply disturbing if these figures reflect a worrying trend in society to disproportionately value the physically perfect and beautiful,” Bruce said.
Lord Alton, a crossbench member of the British House of Lords, also responded to the rise in abortions: “Aborting a baby with a cleft palate should be unconscionable. For the law to allow this up to birth should be unthinkable.”
Children born with these minor deformities can thrive if given a chance at life. For example, Aidan Peterson was born with a cleft lip, and doctors told his parents to abandon him at the hospital. In a previous article, the Petersons told LifeNews:
The hospital pediatrician called my husband into the nursery and advised us to sign Aidan over to the hospital. He told us that we were still young, we could still have other children, and that these kids (kids with cleft lip and palate) tend to have neurological problems, he would require many surgeries that could bankrupt us, and that if we were foolish enough to ignore medical advice and take our baby home he would end right back at the hospital as a “failure to thrive.”
The hospital’s solution was to give Aidan pain medication and wait for him to die of starvation and dehydration. Despite the hospital’s insistence, Aidan’s parents chose life and took their baby home with them. They found special bottles that allowed their son to eat.
When he was 18, Aidan wrote:
For any and all parents who are stuck in the same or similar situation that my parents were, listen up. Your kid is worth it, be he or she mentally or physically disabled. And as my mom said, if your kid has only one day to live, spend it loving your child.
Put yourself in your kid’s shoes. You have one day to live, no two ways about it. Which is better: to spend that day with your loving parents, or to starve to death while uncaring doctors simply pass you by, not caring at all for your plight? Answer that question, and then make a decision on your kid’s life.
Stories such as Aidan’s ought to encourage parents who have children with disabilities. Their stories prove that disabilities do not define a person or hinder them from achieving success. Rather than allow these difficulties to mark the end of a child’s story, families should embrace the gift of their son’s or daughter’s life.