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The Iona Institute

There were 209,917 abortions in England and Wales last year, the highest number since the Abortion Act was introduced in 1968, according to statistics released by the Department of Health and Social Care today. This was despite an extended lockdown caused by Covid-19.

The abortion rate in 2020 was highest for women aged 21.

The official statistics reveal that the number of Irish women travelling to England for abortions declined from 375 in 2019 to 194 in 2020.

In addition, there were 693 abortions where a baby was recorded as having Down Syndrome, an increase of 6% from 2019, although this may be an underestimate.

Under the current law, abortion is allowed up to birth if a baby has a disability.

The campaigning group Don’t Screen Us Out said the actual numbers are probably higher than reported due to under-reporting on disability abortion statistics. A 2013 review showed 886 abortions for Down Syndrome in England and Wales in 2010 but only 482 were reported in official Government figures. The underreporting was confirmed by a 2014 Department of Health and Social Care review.

The group says the private availability of early DNA testing (otherwise known as NIPT) is likely already leading to an increase in the numbers of children with Down Syndrome being screened out by abortion.

Meanwhile in Holland, the number of Dutch people killed by medical euthanasia has more than doubled in the 10 years since legislation was changed to permit it, rising 13 per cent last year to 4,188. This is according to figures released in 2013. Requests have risen steadily since 2003 when 1,626 people applied for medically administered euthanasia, in most cases by a lethal injection, or assisted suicide.

Medical review committees, that oversee euthanasia after the event, ruled that doctors had failed to meet legal requirements in 10 cases, with two incidents involving the difficulty of informed consent by people suffering from severe dementia.

It was reported in YourNewsWire that Dutch paediatricians are lobbying for a commission to be set-up by the government allow children under 12 to die. Currently, terminally ill children 12-years or older in the Netherlands are able to request euthanasia under current laws, and a controverisal new proposal could see that age lowered further to include all children who are considered to be “suffering unbearably”.

Being elderly and ill in Holland is a frightening experience, because the elderly know that they are officially "expendable." They are expendable because the primary motivation for Dutch health 'care' is not care per se, but cost containment.

Here in Ireland, let us not be under any illusion that similar developments will not happen here. It is the thin edge of the wedge and the slippery slope towards the devaluing of the elderly and their dignity.


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