((Press release)) On yesterday’s Liveline programme on RTÉ, the Master of the Rotunda hospital, Dr Fergal Malone described as “the unfortunate few” those families and women who receive a test result showing the detection of Down Syndrome during pregnancy. This characterisation as “the unfortunate few” was immediately criticised by one of the guests on the show who asked Dr Malone to explain why they were “unfortunate” to have a child with special needs.
Commenting on the exchange, Cora Sherlock of the LoveBoth campaign said:
“Over the last two days three obstetricians from Dublin have taken to the airwaves to try and explain away and muddy the waters about the targeting of children with special needs in the womb. These doctors could not hide the fact that abortion on demand disproportionately takes the lives of children with disabilities. There is no reason to doubt that with accurate testing at 10 weeks in the event of repeal of the Eighth Amendment, we would see a massive increase in abortion where Down Syndrome is detected, just like in England, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and other countries where there is no protection for unborn disabled children.”
Ms Sherlock continued:
“We can no longer hide from the fact that the result of repeal of the Eighth Amendment would be that children with conditions such as Down Syndrome would gradually disappear from society as has happened in countries like Iceland. There is nothing in Simon Harris’ proposal on abortion to protect disabled children, no restrictions whatsoever. Simon Harris continues to hide from any meaningful public debate on these critically important points.”