The Spanish Committee of Representatives of Handicapped People has called a statute that allows for abortion of fetuses with birth defects “discriminatory” and “against human rights,” stressing that “one of the rights of the handicapped is the right to be born.”
Roser Romero, member of the committee, said the statute in the law on abortion “goes against the rights of persons.” “If nobody should suffer discrimination, and the current Government talks about equality a lot, that statute does discriminate,” he said.
Romero said abortion is a “delicate issue involving ethical convictions and religious beliefs,” adding that the question is “not about when life begins.”
“Many women do not choose abortion freely,” he added, “but rather find themselves in a situation in which they don’t know how to move forward, sometimes out of ignorance,” and “sometimes they are quietly pushed to abort by family members or doctors.”
“One part of the problem is that handicaps are continued to be viewed as negative,” Romero went on. “Nobody wants them,” he noted, but “people don’t understand handicaps and what a person is able to accomplish if society will let them.” “It is amazing that in this age of information, there is still a failure to provide access to such basic information as this,” he said.
Roser stated that even after a prenatal diagnosis that detects an abnormality, “the doctor is not able to determine how much the handicap will affect the baby or how it will evolve after birth.”
He stressed that whether or not a handicapped person advances or regresses in development depends on the kind of care he receives and the means that are given to him. “It is not the same to be born into a society that helps people as it is to be in one that leaves the problem only in the hands of the parents,” he said.