Slaughter of the Innocent – Conference Report
Bringing the preborn child back into the orbit of humanity
We live in strange times. We have increasing knowledge of how quickly the unborn develop, and know how to save them if they are born too early. At 6 weeks we can detect their beating heart – at 20 weeks we know they feel and react to pain. Technology has made visible their humanity, but it cannot cure the blindness of our heart.
Last year there were 200, 605 recorded abortions, or as Reverend Lynda Rose pointed out 530 terminations every day.
Yet we seem intent on creating more.
We want to bring 28 week abortion to Northern Ireland. The Gender Equality Advisory Council is even pushing for abortion to be allowed up to birth.
With this in the background Voice for Justice UK’s conference, aptly named Slaughter of the Innocent, could not have been better timed.
The aim was to show “How abortion affects us all”. It did much more.
Reverend Lynda Rose had examined the data behind the maternal deaths and illegal abortions which underpinned David Steel’s original Abortion Bill. She found the evidence simply wasn’t there.
If the horrors of backstreet abortion had been greatly exaggerated, what was legalizing abortion really about?
The rhetoric of maternal deaths hid an inconvenient truth. The women who set up the Abortion Law Reform Association (ARLA) in 1936 were either Malthusians or Eugenicists, motivated by the idea of the ‘perfectibility’ of the human race. They believed that contraception and abortion should be used to prevent the poor from ‘breeding’.
The best known exponent of these views was Marie Stopes
. She lobbied Parliament to pass laws to make sterilisation compulsory to “ensure the sterility of the hopelessly rotten and radically diseased…by the elimination of wasteful lives”.
Eugenics castes a long shadow over abortion. Robert Harris described how if an unborn child is even slightly disabled this is used as justification for abortion up till birth. Those who condemn abortion on the basis of gender don’t hesitate where disability is involved.
This produced stark contradictions which Professor John Wyatt, an Obstetrician at UCLH described. In the downstairs ward he would care for babies born as prematurely as 22 weeks. Upstairs, women whose unborn child had been diagnosed with a foetal abnormality were put in the profoundly stressful position of deciding whether they should keep or abort an often significantly older pre-born child.
Michael Nazir Ali who had spent many uncomfortable years at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) saw this selection process at work. Infertility treatment results in large numbers of embryos screened for defects. This determines who will be ‘disaggregated’ and the few who will be born. This foreshadows the designer baby where parents will be able to select all the characteristics of their child.