On Friday, Fiona Bruce MP will do a courageous thing. She will stand up in a parliament known for its history of siding with the abortion lobby and defend the right to life of babies being terminated in the womb because they have cleft lip and cleft palate and club foot.
Ms Bruce, whose son was born with Club Foot, will have the second reading of her private members bill; the Abortion, Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate and Clubfoot Bill this Friday in the House of Commons. The bill seeks to amend the Abortion Act 1967 to specify that these conditions should not qualify as physical abnormalities for which an abortion can be approved. However being a private members bill, it will only succeed if the Government and a majority of MPs support it moving forward through parliament.
Earlier this year Health Minister Helen Whately disclosed that between 2009 and 2018 there were 223 abortions for cleft lip and cleft palate, in England and Wales. These were unborn children who could have been treated for the conditions in the first 12 months after birth. There are many people alive today who have cleft palate and cleft lip, not least of whom are the actor Joaquin Phoenix, the American politician Jesse Jackson, the actor Stacy Keatch and the list goes on. Famous people with club foot include Steven Gerrard, Damon Wayans, Leroy Butler and Dudley Moore. To clarify, we are not arguing that one has to be famous for us to be thankful that they are here with us. Our point is that with each abortion we are denying babies with conditions which are no longer considered “severe”, the opportunity to live, enjoy and fulfil the wonderful possibilities this world has to offer..
We pride ourselves here in the UK as being a modern society which eschews discrimination against people on the basis of who they are, how they look, where they are from, what their abilities are and so on. Yet that very discrimination is written into the Abortion Act when it allows babies to be aborted because they are not “perfect” or as one abortion campaigner described them “defective” children. The discrimination increases every year despite the protests of those of us who try to speak up in defence of the unborn. Why is it that in 2020, people with disabilities must take to the courts as Heidi Crowther, a woman with Downs Syndrome has done, to try to get protection for babies with disabilities in the womb? What does it say about our society when those with disabilities are targeted for termination every year and are forced to appeal to the court to protect them from a much abused and unjust law which allows for them to be aborted?
This is why all right–thinking lawmakers must act. This is why those who sit in the law–making chambers of society must demonstrate their commitment to equality for all human beings. This is why they should support people like Fiona Bruce who have the courage to defy the establishment and stand up in defence of the rights of all human beings. The Government and all MPs should support her bill on Friday.