Abortion continues to be a controversial topic in society. For progressive extremists and liberal feminists, the practice is seen as a woman’s rights issue. But for many others, it is an issue about life and the right of an unborn child to live.
The reasons why women get abortions vary. Some do it because of the child being doomed to death or because their own life is in danger. Others choose abortion because they simply do not want a child and, rather than at least give the child a chance at life through adoption, they opt for the inhumane medical procedure.
Then there are some who get abortions because of disabilities and not wanting the burden of a child who may be different.
British lawmaker Lord Kevin Shinkwin, a Conservative member of the House of Lords, recently gave a speech against abortion and the fear that disabled individuals, such as himself, are facing extinction. His concern is that disabled unborn children are being targeted for abortion.
Lord Shinkwin’s concern is justified, unfortunately. In the United Kingdom, unborn children with disabilities are treated differently and are increasingly becoming victims of termination. Under current laws, a mother can abort their child in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, unless the child is disabled. If it’s found the child suffers from a disability, the pregnancy can be terminated up until the moment of birth.
Babies with Down Syndrome are being aborted at increasing rates. From 2011 to 2015, there was a 34% jump in aborted Down Syndrome children to 693. Overall abortions of disabled children have increased 68% over ten years to 3,213 in 2015.
Lord Shinkwin has introduced legislation to eliminate the loop hole that allows disabled unborn children to be discriminated against.
It is unfortunate that disabled children can be discriminated against. Abortion is a moral issue, but perhaps worse than simply terminating a child is doing so because the parent is selfish enough to not want a disabled child. Many people with various types of disabilities live happy lives – they just live differently because of their condition.
Should they be denied this right to live happily because of selfish parents?
There is a greater moral question in play here. If abortions are to be legal, what are the standards for the procedure and how should execution of an unborn child be decided? Should a mother be able to abort their child because they simply don’t want a child, ignoring the fact it could be happy through adoption? Should a mother be able to abort their child because they don’t want a child who is different?
Ultimately, issues such as this are the reason why due process exists. Complicated legal questions should be handled, and if someone’s life is at stake, the individual should be able to defend themselves. In the instance of a child or disabled individual, someone should be able to advocate for them before their life is terminated.
Who will speak for the disabled unborn children? It is the hope of Lord Kevin Shinkwin that things will change.