“I can see from the trends in abortion on grounds of disability that the writing is on the wall for people like me. People with congenital disabilities are facing extinction. If we were animals, perhaps we might qualify for protection as an endangered species. But we are only human beings with disabilities, so we do not.” — Lord Kevin Shinkwin
UK peer Lord Kevin Shinkwin recently spoke out against the unjust abortion laws in the UK that allow disabled children to be aborted right up until the moment of their birth.
While the UK’s laws on abortion are more restrictive than the laws in the USA (abortions on a healthy child are only legal until the 24th week), there is a loophole that allows parents to abort their disabled children right until the moment of birth. In an effort to close this loophole, Shinkwin has proffered a bill that would see disabled children treated the same as healthy ones and make abortion after 24 weeks illegal for all children.
In an effort to convince his fellow lawmakers, Shinkwin delivered a brilliant and emotional speech that was sure to win over even the most hardened abortion supporters.
Our Paralympians represented their country in Rio with pride. What was the essential qualification for them competing at Rio? It was their disability. The country which applauded their success is the same country whose law regards that essential qualification for going to Rio—disability—as a reason they should die. How is that fair, right or logical? It is none of those things, which is why today I reflect on the remarkable impact that laws passed by your Lordships’ House have had on my life as a disabled person. It is why I ask myself: how could I not have faith in our common humanity? How could I not have faith in the truth that there is more that unites than divides us? And how could I not believe that your Lordships’ House will be true to itself and continue its noble fight for disability equality by passing this bill?