Earlier this month, the UN Human Rights Committee convened a panel of experts in Geneva, Switzerland, who spoke about abortion as a method of eugenics.
An ‘ardent defender of the handicapped’ but denies them the right to be born
At that meeting, Tunisian lawmaker Yadh Ben Achour (the one pictured above), a member of that UN Committee, defended abortion as a “preventive measure” to prevent disabled people from being born (you can see here his full intervention):
“I myself am an ardent defender of the handicapped and I understand very well that society and the State have to do everything possible to protect handicapped, help them, and ensure they have a life, a possible living. But that does not mean that we have to accept to let a disabled foetus live. This is a preventive measure.“
Charlotte Fien: he “suggests that people like me should be aborted until birth”
A few months ago, the UN received a strong response from Charlotte Helene Fien (her image appears above), a 21-year-old British girl with Down syndrome. Her message was very clear: “I have the right to live.” Charlotte also recalled a terrible historical event occurred last century and many seem to have forgotten: “In the 1930s and 1940s, the Nazis decided to get rid of all disabled people. More than 200,000 disabled people were murdered, including many children with Down syndrome. Today the same thing is happening. A test that checks for Down syndrome is being used to kill all babies with Down syndrome. In Iceland, Denmark, and China, not a single baby with Down syndrome has been born for seven years. Seven years! The goal is to eradicate Down syndrome in the future. This makes me angry and very sad.“
Live Action published yesterday a letter from Charlotte Helene Fien to Yadh Ben Achour, which I am reproducing for your interest below (the bold letters are mine):
Dear Mr. Ben-Achour,
I have seen you, Mr. Ben-Achour. A member of the Human Rights Council suggest that people like me should be aborted up to birth. Mr. Ben-Achour, your comments about people with Down syndrome deeply offended me. I felt you attacked me for being who I am. Who am I, Mr. Ben-Achour? I’m a human being just like you. Our only difference is an extra chromosome. My extra chromosome makes me far more tolerant than you, sir.
I want to speak to you about the world’s goal to eradicate people like me. Around the world, more than 90% of babies known to have Down syndrome are being aborted. Aborted up to the day they are due to be born, in many cases.
A test that can check for hundreds of things including gender is being used to search and destroy for Down syndrome. In many countries where female babies are considered undesirable, they’re aborted. The world is concerned about this issue and think it’s horrible. But you are not concerned about targeting Down syndrome for eradication? Why is that, Mr. Ben-Achour?
If any other heritable traits like skin colour were used to eradicate a group of people, the world would cry out. Why are you not crying out when people like me are being made extinct? What have WE done to make you want us to disappear? As far as I know my community doesn’t hate, discriminate, or commit crimes.
I keep hearing you use the word suffering in relation to Down syndrome. I don’t know anyone with Down syndrome that is suffering. The ONLY thing we have to suffer are horrible people who want to make us extinct.
I have a brilliant life. I have a family that loves me. I have great friends. I have an active social life. I’m studying at University and have goals to become a writer. I want to get married one day and maybe even have a baby.
Mr. Ben-Achour, if you have your way those goals will NEVER happen. What you are suggesting is eugenics. It’s disgusting and EVIL. You need to apologise for your horrible comments. You should also be removed from the Human Rights Council as an expert. You are not an expert about Down syndrome. You sir, do not speak for my community.
The Human Rights Council needs people who will genuinely fight for the rights of others who are being oppressed. I suggest that the Human Rights Council appoint me as an expert. I will fight for our right to exist for the rest of my life.
From here, my applause and all my support for Charlotte.
The mail subscription service to Contando Estrelas will allow you to receive in your mailbox a daily email with the new entries published in this blog. It is a free service provided by Feedburner. Once you have entered your email in this box and press the "submit" button, you will receive a confirmation email in your mailbox to activate your subscription.