Abortions performed on disabled unborn babies in the United Kingdom increased by 17 percent last year, new figures reveal.
The news comes as a group of MPs and Peers have called for Parliament to review the law on abortion for disabled babies because they say it is outdated and could be discriminatory. The parliamentary commission, chaired by Fiona Bruce, published a report that outlines views that the law is essentially eugenics, which is eliminating undesirable characteristics from society.
The group has called for Parliament to review the question of allowing abortion on the grounds of the baby being handicapped, given the changes to social attitudes on disability over recent years. At the moment, doctors can approve abortions up to full term if they think there is a “substantial risk” the child will be seriously handicapped.
Last year, around 2,700 babies were aborted for this reason.
The commission say parents are being pushed into having an abortion if their baby is disabled, in some cases for conditions that could be dealt with after birth, such as a club foot or cleft lip. The 2012 abortion statistics for England and Wales show that, in total, 185,122 abortions were carried out last year.