This week, the Irish Times eagerly covered a letter the Danish Ambassador to Ireland had written to the Oireachtas Committee on Abortion denying that Denmark wanted to eradicate people with Down Syndrome, despite the fact that 98% of babies with the condition are aborted there. He had been contacted by the pro-abortion TD, Louise O’Reilly of Sinn Féin, who seemed upset that comments were being made about Denmark’s horrific record, but not that bothered that practically every child in that country with Down Syndrome is being aborted.
The Oireachtas Committee on Abortion is in shambles, with two politicians, Mattie McGrath TD and Rónán Mullen, threatening to withdraw because of the extraordinary bias shown in calling 20 pro-abortion witnesses versus just 3 pro-life speakers. Mattie McGrath has described the whole thing as a farce and an “insult to democracy”. And so it is. The ignorant and arrogant attitude of members of the Committee to pro-life witnesses is downright embarrassing.
A friend of mine attended Holles Street maternity hospital where she gave birth to a beautiful little girl with a life-limiting condition. The baby girl knew nothing but love until she passed away in her mother’s arms just hours later. My friend said Rhona Mahony was her doctor at that time, and she felt that Dr Mahony didn’t seem to understand that this little girl was precious and valued and loved in exactly the same way as every other child, even if her disability was so severe that her life was very short. She also said that Dr Mahony had suggested abortion to her when her baby girl was first diagnosed as being so seriously ill.
It is perhaps the most heartbreaking and chilling statistic I have seen in recent times. The elimination of an entire people, dressed up as healthcare. Other countries, like Denmark, it seems, are heading in the same direction. It is, as one contributor on the programme said, ‘merciless’. But for other practitioners, mercy didn’t seem to come into it. We were told that ‘science has no morality’ and that “for some people, having a baby with Down’s syndrome is an intolerable event” because “they live for many years,” and they are “a burden that lasts for a long time”.
Abortion is a hotly debated issue, but it is difficult to imagine a more cruel or discriminatory tactic than that now being adopted by campaigners in the latest push for abortion in Ireland. There has been a concerted effort in this country for the past three years, (an effort backed by powerful and wealthy global abortion campaigners), to target preborn babies with a severe disability, such as anencephaly or Trisomy 13, and to argue that they are less than human because of their condition.
The new public service announcement, “How Do You See Me?,” featuring actress Olivia Wilde, showcases the reality of how people living with Down Syndrome see themselves differently than the world sees them. The video spot, created by Italian organization CoorDown, seeks to raise awareness about Down Syndrome and challenge the public’s perception of people living with disabilities.
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the International Perinatal and Hospice Care Conference held at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. Going into the conference, I was prepared to hear typical medical conference fare – long and technical presentations albeit about an interesting topic. I was interested in learning more about issues surrounding babies born with foetal anomalies and new methods of providing care for these children. I was not expecting the conference – which was packed with doctors and nurses and midwives from all over the country – to be as hopeful and inspiring as it was.
n the past week we’ve seen the Minister for Children, James Reilly, call for the liberalisation of Ireland’s abortion laws. In particular, the Fine Gael Minister proposed that abortion should be legalised for children who have a severe disability. There is something profoundly messed-up about this scenario. That a Minister whose designated role is primarily to protect and safeguard children should call for a law allowing children to be killed before birth is bad enough. But for the same Minister to especially target unborn children who are extra-vulnerable because of their disability is an obscenity.
My sister Máire Bríd was stillborn. My mother says that, two days before her due date, her little baby stopped moving and that she almost ran to the hospital, hoping against all hope, but knowing that something was terribly wrong. At the hospital they couldn’t find a heartbeat. Two days later she was born: perfect and beautiful, but without life. There was no sound, no cry, no hope that she might have even a brief time with her heartbroken parents.
THIS WEEK, A new poll published by the Irish Times found most Irish people favoured legalising abortion where an unborn child would “not be born alive”. Abortion campaigners seized on the poll results to call for Ireland’s abortion laws to be extended to unborn babies who are often described as ‘incompatible with life’. But the question in the poll is horribly misleading; there are no medical conditions whatsoever where it can be said with absolute certainty that a baby will not be born alive. In fact, research has shown that even with the most profound disabilities, such as anencephaly, most babies do survive until birth and can live for hours, days, or even weeks with their parents.
My sister Hannah is beautiful inside and out. She inspires me every day. As is typical for children with Down Syndrome these days, she is going to school and living her life, and I know she has a bright future. Richard Dawkins has never met my sister. If he had maybe he wouldn’t have said that the “moral and sensible choice would be to abort” a baby like Hannah. I’m going to be honest, Richard Dawkins sickened me when he said that it was immoral to give birth to a baby with Down Syndrome. He also argued that you would be spending your life caring for an adult who has the needs of a child.
The number of abortions performed in the UK on mothers carrying babies with Down’s Syndrome looks to be far higher than previously thought according to a recent report by the UK Department of Health. The same report found that UK abortion doctors are breaking the law by not keeping proper records and documenting the correct reason abortions were being carried out.