Govt’s abortion bill lifts time limit on abortions for babies with disabilities from 20-weeks up to birth, breaking Jacinda Ardern’s promise to the disability community

first_imgThe CBS report on Iceland and their near 100% abortion rate from Down’s syndrome that has lead to controversy globally over the last couple of week is available here: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/Saving Downs spokesperson Mike Sullivan has written on this topic of disability-selective abortion and the New Zeland law in the past here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/90738344/mike-sullivan-a-fathers-plea-on-behalf-of-his-disabled-child Media Release Saving Downs 5 August 2019Down syndrome advocacy group Saving Downs have condemned the New Zealand Government’s new abortion bill which, if it becomes law, will introduce abortion for abortion right through to birth for babies with disabilities.Under section 187A of the Crimes Act there is currently a gestational time limit of 20-weeks for abortion for disability, providing two doctors sign off on the abortion.The Government’s new abortion bill, if it becomes law, will remove the current 20-week gestational time limit for disability. Instead, abortion will be available for disabilities including Down syndrome right through to birth, providing one registered health practitioner signs off on the abortion under the new well-being grounds outlined in section 11 of the Bill, that will allow for abortion up to birth. In the handful of jurisdictions that have a similar clause allowing for abortion up to birth, this has in practice allowed for abortion for disabilities including Down syndrome right through to birth. The proposed New Zealand legislation in fact only requires one registered health practitioner, which could include a single nurse, rather than the higher threshold of two doctors for example in Victoria, Australia which has a similar abortion up to birth clause.In 2017 Saving Down’s highlighted their concerns around Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to change abortion laws and that this would introduce abortion through to birth for babies with disabilities. In response, Jacinda Ardern made a commitment to not increase the time limit for disability-selective abortion.In response to the concern raised by Saving Downs, Jacinda Ardern said:“They have said till 40 weeks, which is wrong, which is wrong. We have time periods already set out in law, I’m not proposing changes to that. I’m proposing it comes out of the Crimes Act.”The Government’s proposed change to the law could also see New Zealand fall foul of international disability rights obligations, as the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has consistently criticised countries that provide for abortion in a way which discriminates on the basis of disability.Already the majority of babies in New Zealand diagnosed with Down syndrome are screened out by termination and if this proposed policy became law it could put us on the path towards the situation in Iceland where close to 100% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.Today Saving Down’s have launched an open letter to Jacinda Ardern from people with Down syndrome and their families asking the Prime Minister to make a commitment to ensure that she does not break her promise, and that the Government either withdraws the Bill or urgently introduces a specific provision to the Bill that will ensure that abortion for disabilities will not be allowed from 20-weeks through to birth.Mike Sullivan, head of Down syndrome advocacy group Saving Downs and father of Rebecca who has Down syndrome said:“Thinking of my daughter, I can’t believe that in 2019 in Aotearoa, New Zealand we would see the coalition introducing a Government Bill which will introduce abortion through to birth for babies with Down syndrome and other disabilities.Jacinda Ardern made a promise to our community ahead of the 2017 election that she would not increase the time limit for disabilities from 20-weeks. She has broken this promise, not only lifting the limit, but increasing it right through to birth.This sends a strong discriminatory message and a progressive New Zealand can do better for people with disabilities like my daughter than introducing abortion up to birth.Today we have launched an open letter to Jacinda Ardern from people with Down syndrome and their families asking Jacinda Ardern to make a commitment to ensure that she does not break her promise, and either withdraws the Government’s bill or introduces a specific provision to the Bill that will ensure that abortion for disabilities will not be allowed from 20-week through to birth.“It is vital that she follows through on her promise and ensures that abortion for disabilities including Down syndrome are not allowed after 20 weeks. Already the majority of babies in New Zealand diagnosed with Down syndrome are screened out by termination and if this proposed policy became law it could put us on the path towards the situation in Iceland where close to 100% of babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.”ENDSFor more information on the Saving Downs campaign, see our website www.savingdowns.org or email [email protected] interviews, contact Saving Downs spokesperson: Mike Sullivan – [email protected] or 021 406 266.The full text of the open letter to Jacinda Ardern is available here: http://savingdowns.org/openletterjacinda/UN criticismThe UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have consistently criticised countries which provide for abortion in a way which distinguishes between fetuses on the basis of disability, most notably Austria, Hungary and Spain, citing Article 5 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (equality and non-discrimination provision).last_img read more

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Ireland camp hit by bug

first_img Both coaches and captains addressed the media at a conference at the 20,000 capacity home of Toronto FC on Monday and both Kiss and his opposite number Kieran Crowley have plenty of headaches ahead of the weekend’s game. Ireland beat the US Eagles 15-12 in Houston last Saturday, while the Canadians overcame Tonga in a bad-tempered encounter. “There is a bit of attrition after a long season, but fair play to the boys they have been good. We have had a couple of minor injuries from last week, but things are looking okay on that part,” Kiss said. “We have just had a situation today where we will not have a full squad training as there is a little bit of unwellness in the squad, but that is just something you have to deal with when you travel and these little stomach upsets happen.” New Zealander Crowley will delay finalising his team until Friday as he counts the toll left by an extremely physical encounter with the Tongans in Kingston, Ontario, on Sunday. Three players – Matt Evans, Sean Duke and Jebb Sinclair – are recovering from concussion, while Aaron Carpenter (back), Phil Mac (ankle) and Nick Blevins are fighting to be fit. “They have been good, we had a travel day down on Sunday. The boys are pretty battered and bruised after two games in four days. We have five or six guys we’re sweating on at the moment, we are going through the protocols and we will finalise our team on Friday,” he said. “They are in good spirits, winning helps that. They are looking forward to a big challenge, a tier one country and we want to put in a good performance and we are looking forward to a good game.” Ireland’s preparations for Saturday’s meeting with Canada have been hit by a stomach bug which has struck down a small number of the squad. Press Associationcenter_img The unaffected squad members trained in Toronto on Monday night, but coach Les Kiss is sweating over the recovery of some of his squad who have not been named. It adds to the Australian’s selection issues after he lost Simon Zebo to the Lions. However, injury worries over captain Peter O’Mahony, Chris Henry, Fergus McFadden and Robbie Henshaw appear to be easing ahead of the clash in front of what Canada Rugby hopes to be a sell-out at BMO Field. last_img read more

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Death announced of Former GAA president Joe McDonagh

first_imgThe Galway native passed away yesterday at the age of 62 following a short illness. Mr McDonagh was president of Cumman Luthcleas Gael between 1997 and 2000 and was hugely instrumental in the development of the associationHe was also a senior hurling and won All-Ireland Hurling Championship with Galway in 1980.last_img

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