Thursday, 23 December 2010

Sarah Palin gave one of the most important political speeches of the 21st century

Technology Review reports that mapping the genome* of an unborn child using DNA from his mother's blood may have the potential for "broad genetic testing without risk to the foetus".

I've deliberately highlighted "without risk" because, in reality, we know that the risk of the development of this technique to the unborn child, in the present social, political and legal environment, is lethal and it's huge.

Mapping the genome for disabilities is praised for being "non-invasive" - unlike amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling which are currently used to test for conditions such as Down Syndrome.

It's also praised because it does not carry "a small risk of miscarriage" as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling do.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists states that about 1 in every 100 women who have amniocentesis under ultrasound guidance after 15 weeks will miscarry.(If my child had about a 1% of being murdered at school, I wouldn't send my child to school. The pressure these days on couples who may be expecting a disabled child is so great, and society's regard for the disabled child is so low, that people are actually seriously prepared to risk killing their child in order to find out whether he or she is disabled. And when the child is thought to be disabled the overwhelming majority are killed)

However, Dr Greg Pike, Director of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute in Adelaide, South Australia, points out:
"Given that we already know that couples will often abort for major foetal genetic defects and sometimes even for suspected minor ones, this development could lead to significantly greater numbers of abortions on the grounds of foetal disability in search for a child as free of disability possible – fed by what seems to be an almost inherent eugenic mentality.

"While it is difficult to predict where people will draw the line when deciding to abort or not based upon the genetic information, at the very least the broader detection of genetic problems will expand the choices. Some of those genetic problems will be predispositions for certain disorders, so that couples will be making choices based upon probabilities of disorders arising in their offspring’s middle age.

"One of the arguments that often comes up in favour of genetic screening is that it helps the couple prepare for a child with a disability. I think it is likely that such cases are very few in number and by far the majority end up in abortion, at least where the disability is major."
Dr Pike takes the view that this work represents a very significant step towards the eventual routine mapping of the entire genome of the foetus from a maternal blood sample. He tells me that an affordable complete genome test may be 5, 10 or even 20 years away, and this work is a major step towards that end. In that case, genetic screening for a wide range of disorders could be routinely offered. Cost, he says, would likely be the inhibiting factor.

This is chilling. How barbaric does society have to become in its wholesale slaughter of unborn children and of disabled unborn children in particular before it wakes up and challenges eugenic policies and practices?

Sarah Palin, the US politician who ran for the vice-presidency in 2008, is constantly mocked by the British media. In my view she gave one of the most important political speeches of the 21st century so far when she said:
"I believe the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who are least able to defend and speak for themselves. And who is more vulnerable, or more innocent, than a child?

"When I learned that my son Trig would have special needs, I had to prepare my heart for the challenges to come. At first I was scared, and Todd and I had to ask for strength and understanding. But I can tell you a few things I’ve learned already.

"Yes, every innocent life matters. Everyone belongs in the circle of protection. Every child has something to contribute to the world, if we give them that chance. There are the world’s standards of perfection … and then there are God’s, and these are the final measure. Every child is beautiful before God, and dear to Him for their own sake.

"As for our beautiful baby boy, for Todd and me, he is only more precious because he is vulnerable."
*all the unborn child's inheritable traits

If you would like to have a summary, prepared by Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, on the research done on mapping the genome of the unborn child, write to me and I will send it to you.


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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A disabled child had a right to be aborted, says Belgian Court of Appeal

A Belgian court has awarded a disabled child "damages" for being born. According to the court the unborn child had a right to be aborted. Gènéthique reports:
"The Brussels Court of Appeal ruled on 21st September this year that the child, represented by his parents, could claim damages from physicians for the injury of being born disabled. 'Certainly, the misdiagnosis did not cause the child's disability, which existed before the error and which could not be remedied,' the Court considered. 'However, the injury which must be compensated is not the disability itself, but the fact of being born with such disabilities.'

"For the Court, the child would have had 'right' to an abortion if the disability had been correctly diagnosed. Indeed, by making 'therapeutic abortion' part of Belgian law, 'the legislator must have intended to allow women to avoid giving birth to children with serious abnormalities, having regard not only to the interests of the mother, but also to those of the unborn child itself.'"
Based on what he calls the "limited description of the case" Fr John Fleming, SPUC's bioethical consultant and a corresponding member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has made the following observations:
  • The court said that by making "therapeutic abortion" part of Belgian law, "the legislator must have intended to allow women to avoid giving birth to children with serious abnormalities, having regard not only to the interests of the mother, but also to those of the unborn child itself." The judges have no idea what legislators intended about the “interests of the unborn child itself”. That is simply an inference. In any case, what they have decided is that the child had the right to be aborted. But if the child is not a “legal person” with the inalienable right to life, then such a child has no rights at all, including the right to be aborted. This simply makes no sense.
  • Accepting for the moment that the unborn child has rights, if it is the child with a disability that had both the right to an accurate diagnosis of his condition and with it the right to be aborted, then how could that right be exercised? From the right to something it does not necessarily follow that someone else would know how that person would exercise that right. How would such an unborn child be consulted and be able to give informed consent?
  • The child also has the right to life. Who can arbitrate between these two rights? The parents? If so, on what objective grounds could they make such a decision?
  • No parent has the moral right to kill their own child even when they consider it might be in the child’s best interests.
  • If the child has a right to be aborted, it then follows that the doctor has a duty to abort. But what of the right of the doctor to conscientious objection. Even referring to another doctor would be sinful material cooperation in evil which might well be offensive to the conscientious doctor’s conscience.
  • Are the physicians able to be sued for negligence for misdiagnosing? But who says it is negligence rather than a mistake? And in this case the so-called “negligence” caused no harm because the child lived.
  • Is the whole thing about a cynical grab for money by his parents? Or … does this sort of legal action come about because the State provides insufficient support for parents to properly care for their child and this seems to be one way out of the burdens they are experiencing and with which they may be having great difficulty in coping?
  • Such a judgement undermines the duty of care parents owe their child. It signals to the child we would have killed you if we had the ‘legal’ chance to do so.
Alison Davis, the co-ordinator of No Less Human, a group within SPUC defending the right to life of the disabled, told me:
"This smacks clearly of the terrifying acts which took place in Germany in the 1940's, using the same sort of confusing pseudonyms used then. 'Best interests' for disabled people equals death."

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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Parliamentary Select Committee confirms failure of international pro-abortion lobby

Yesterday, the Select Committee on International Development (in the British House of Commons) confirmed, what I reported in October, that the pro-abortion lobby has failed to hijack the millennium development goals in order to promote legalized abortion throughout the world. Their failure followed a worldwide lobby initiated by SPUC's chief lobbyist at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva - a lobby which focused on the false claims made by the pro-abortion lobby and the fact that more abortions do not lead to fewer maternal mortalities.

It's another welcome reminder that pro-life lobbying works. We're not successful every time as is so tragically obvious here in Britain, rightly described as the geopolitical centre of the culture of death. However, well-informed, courteous, disciplined lobbying works.

In their report published yesterday, the Select Committee praises the British government's commitment to promoting abortion overseas* but complains:
"We were surprised to see that the Summit Outcome Document does not mention population growth at all. We also believe this issue is under-prioritised in the current MDG framework. The world's population is growing and it is startling that global development structures do not take account of this increasing squeeze on resources. We welcome the Secretary of State's commitment to put reproductive health at the centre of DFID's programmes, and to extend contraception to 10 million couples. As 2015 draws closer, we recommend that DFID advocate strongly that the post-2015 framework give sufficient attention to the issue of population growth so that future targets take account of the need to address the world's increasing number of people."
To learn about the benefits of population growth and about the myth of overpopulation, take a look at the Population Research Institute's (PRI) excellent video series which you can find here - and you can also find out about the science behind their videos.

*The promotion of abortion and contraception dominated the Coalition government's consultation on reproductive, maternal and newborn health earlier this year.


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