Monday 18 April 2011

The government's cover-up of abortion stats is wrong

SPUC has responded to today's hearing in the High Court, at which the Department of Health (pictured) defended its decision not to publish break-downs of statistics on abortions of disabled children. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, told the media earlier today:
"We are very concerned by any attempt at secrecy by the government regarding abortion. It is absolutely vital for the future protection of both unborn children and women that there is complete transparency in official statistics. Secrecy will only serve those doctors authorising or performing abortions outside the terms of the law, which is already a widespread practice.

The fact that the case relates to statistics on the severity of disabilities among aborted unborn children is not strictly relevant to the moral issue. All unborn children, whatever their physical or mental state, have an equal right to life, confirmed by international human rights law.

So we should not be asking whether cleft palate is a more or less severe disability, but why the government wants to cover up the facts about which babies it is aborting and why.

The argument for transparency is all the stronger because nearly all abortions for disability are paid for by the taxpayer, and unlike most NHS procedures, they are not done to achieve any health benefit, but to cut the cost of caring for disabled people."
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