The National Association for the Defense of the Right to Conscientious Objection is deploring new data this week that indicates that 9 out every 10 babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted by their parents in Spain.
General coordinator of the Association, Jose Antonio Diez, said that in 94.5% of the cases that a prenatal diagnosis indicates the presence of Down’s syndrome, the baby is aborted.
He said such diagnoses are often used to “eliminate children with more or less serious defects. The doctor is not free to offer alternatives,” and for this reason many parents are now conscientiously objecting to prenatal diagnosis that is not intended for medical treatment, Diez said.
Spanish law does not permit abortion in cases in which the fetus is presumed to have “serious physical or mental defects,” such as Trisomy 21, spina bifida or anencephaly.
According to the “Women's Help Line Foundation” (Linea de Atencion a la Mujer), allowing the abortion of handicapped persons is discrimination “incompatible with the Convention on the rights of handicapped persons approved by the UN in New York on December 13, 2006. Spain signed that Convention on December 3, 2007, and it took effect on May 3.”
Article 10 of the Convention affirms that “the signatory States reaffirm the inherent right to life of all human beings and shall adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the effective enjoyment of that right by handicapped persons equal to all others.”