A disabled peer has accused the renowned fertility

first_imgA disabled peer has accused the renowned fertility expert Lord Winston of trying to hijack his attempts to outlaw disability discrimination in abortion laws because of his “discriminatory eugenic agenda”.The exchange in the House of Lords on Friday came as peers were debating Lord [Kevin] Shinkwin’s abortion (disability equality) bill, which he says would bring abortion legislation into line with the Equality Act.The disabled Tory peer’s private member’s bill, which has reached the report stage, would make it illegal to carry out an abortion on the grounds of disability on a fetus that was more than 24 weeks old, unless there was a risk of serious, permanent damage to the mother or her life was at risk.At present, Lord Shinkwin (pictured during the debate) reminded fellow peers, a fetus can be aborted right up to the moment of birth, if it has a significant impairment or, as the Abortion Act 1967 describes it, “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”.At a previous stage of the bill, he told fellow peers that “were a younger, unborn version of me to be detected in the womb today [the Abortion Act] and the [Department of Health’s] search-and-destroy approach to screening would make me a prime candidate for abortion”. He said on Friday that his “disability rights bill” would bring the law on disability discrimination before birth into line with laws that address disability discrimination after birth.But Lord [Robert] Winston, the fertility expert and television presenter – who has carried out pioneering work on allowing embryos to be screened for genetic diseases before being used for in vitro fertilisation – tabled an amendment that would exclude pregnancies where there was “a high probability that the fetus will die at, during, or shortly after delivery due to serious fetal anomaly”.The Labour peer, who later withdrew his amendment, said: “Whether we like it or not, whatever our religious position might be, the fact is that we accept termination of pregnancy and I believe that most people in our society have the normative consideration that it is reasonable, in cases where a fetus is severely damaged and unlikely to survive or is going to be extremely ill and in great pain, to terminate that pregnancy.”But Lord Shinkwin said that Lord Winston’s amendment was “cynical” and “reinforces discrimination because it singles out even more acutely a particular group for destruction on grounds of disability”.He said that defining “fatal or life-limiting involves a degree of subjective judgment which is influenced by understandings and by the availability of technology, both of which can change with time”. Lord Shinkwin also criticised the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, the Family Planning Association, and Antenatal Results and Choices – previously known as Support Around Termination For Abnormality – which had organised a meeting about his bill in the Lords, but failed to invite him.He said the organisations had “insinuated and implicitly claimed” in their invitation to the meeting that the 230 disabled babies aborted after 24 weeks in 2015 had all been diagnosed with severe or fatal fetal abnormalities, when they could not possibly have known that because the Department of Health does not hold that information.He had previously told fellow peers that there had been a 56 per cent increase in the number of terminations on grounds of disability after 24 weeks between 2010 and 2015, and a 68 per cent increase in the total number of terminations on the grounds of disability, with 3,213 in 2015.He pointed out on Friday that, of the fetuses “aborted for the crime of having Down’s syndrome, for example, two were aborted at 25 weeks, one at 26 weeks, one at 28, one at 30, another at 31, three at 32 weeks, two at 33, two at 34 – and one at 39 weeks”.Lord Shinkwin said the three organisations had an “overtly discriminatory agenda”, which he said also informed Lord Winston’s amendment and his “complete failure even to make contact with me”.He said the amendment was “completely inappropriate and incompatible with the progress achieved on disability rights”, and he accused Lord Winston of “crass insensitivity” for “hijacking” the disability equality bill of a disabled peer “in order to advance a blatantly discriminatory eugenic agenda”.Lord Shinkwin said the message of his opponents was “stark and bleak”, and was: “Let’s ignore the fact that these disabled babies are human beings, with an equal right to exist.“Let’s reclassify them and call them fetal anomalies. Let’s go one better and call them serious fetal anomalies.”He added: “Well this fetal anomaly, this proud member of your Lordships’ house, is ​having none of it.“I utterly reject this medical mindset that clings to the idea that a disabled baby is a medical failure to be eradicated through abortion. I beg no one for my equality.“I know I have as much right as anyone to be alive.”Lord Winston denied that his amendment was “cynical” and insisted that it was “compassionate”.He said: “Perhaps unlike the noble Lord who has promoted this bill, I have been in constant contact with pregnant women who have had to go through these difficult decisions throughout their pregnancy throughout my professional life.”He said that many women did not attend an antenatal clinic until after 24 weeks into their pregnancy.He added: “I do not feel prepared to have the finger pointed at me saying that I am not trying to do my best, in a small way, for a society where disabilities occur.”last_img read more

Read more

SAINTS will be aiming to secure their first league

first_imgSAINTS will be aiming to secure their first league win at Hull KR for nine seasons when the sides meet this Friday.Keiron Cunningham came off the bench and scored a try in a 40-0 win back in June 2007 – the last time two points were secured in East Hull.A cup win followed in 2008, as did a draw in 2012, but it’s fair to say Saints’ record on the Robins’ turf isn’t the best.“It is something you can look at but it is, and has to be, a fresh slate every time you go,” he said. “Our challenge as a team and a club is to be ready for every game regardless of whatever the team you are facing is doing. We have to focus on our own performance.“Hull KR weren’t too good against Warrington but were unlucky to lose against Wakefield. They threw a lot at them.“The Roosters game gave us a shot in the arm because we physically matched it with one of the best packs in the world. I saw a twinkle in the eye of the forwards here because it showed they are as good as we think they are. Now we have to get the rest right.“If we take that physicality into the game then we won’t be far off, but we have to be more clinical with the ball.”Saints have a few bumps and bruises heading into the clash – but have time on their side according to Cunningham.Alex Walmsley suffered a clash of heads and will be monitored through the week whilst Roby, Lomax and McDonnell are continuing to improve.“Robes is coming close to the point where we will have to have a shot with him and see how he goes in training,” Keiron said. “But he is a player who will feature heavily in what we do as a club going forward. We all want him back but for the sake of a week or two it would be foolish to try and push him too soon.“He is a super athlete and one of the best players ever to pull on a Saints shirt but he has to right before returning.“Jonny is a candidate for March whilst Shannon is not far off at all. He will be back soon enough and is training with us. We have to get some metres in his legs first and then he will be good to go.“I am confident this is the best squad we have had for a long period of time. It has strength in depth. In the past if we had lost James Roby then we couldn’t bring anything in. It was the same if we had lost a six. We can do that now. We can use Travis Burns at 9 and young Theo Fages is waiting for his chance. Then you have Morgan Knowles too. They will all contribute largely to what we hope will be a successful season.“We haven’t just got a top end and scraping around for kids, there is good quality throughout.“Theo just has to bide his time. It is all about education for him at the moment. He is the future of the club; a young half back who has a massive future ahead of him and he will be at Saints for a long period of time. At the minute he is learning and when he gets the chance he will take it with open arms.“That is the same for Jack Owens. One position we were light in last year was full back. We needed about 18 last season and he has filled in grandly. It he wasn’t here then we would be scraping the barrel. He is only a baby and will be a gem for us going forward.“He might look a little out of sorts at times but we are educating him every week. Now our job is to make him into the mature professional we know he is going to be.“In the end we have to try and pick the best possible team for the job. Hopefully, we can get some stability and roll forward.”A lot of pundits have had their say following the World Club Series and the three defeats suffered by English sides.Saints fared better in terms of the scoreline than Leeds or Wigan, but that is no consolation to Cunningham.“Obviously I would have liked it to have gone better on Friday,” he said. “Long term it won’t affect us but it would have been a nice nut to crack. Physically we got it right but the difference against the Aussies is you need to get all aspects right.“The difference is Salary Cap, pool of players and quality. The cap will be twice or three times bigger than ours when it is updated soon. The pool of players they can draw from is larger too and as a result the quality is better. They can attract the best players from all over the world and are even looking at our top players.“That said, I think the concept of the series is brilliant. As a sport if you look at where our headline games are, it isn’t at international level. The game is built on club rugby.“If you look at when we played Brisbane all those years back, salary cap wise both leagues weren’t that far apart. If we could have had this concept back then it could have worked better.“It seems like it is hurting us now but I do like the spectacle. Club rugby is our bread and butter, and the concept is right but perhaps it is 10-15 years too late. We can build on it though.“We are working hard as a club as is Blake Solly and his team at the RFL.”Tickets for the games against Castleford, Wakefield and Wigan are now on sale – as are ‘specs’ for our trip to Hull KR on Friday.You can buy from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.last_img read more

Read more

Police save two year old from locked car

first_imgCar window lockedCar window locked The Police helped in saving a two year old boy from a locked car in Rabat early this morning.A spokesperson for the Police confirmed with Newsbook.com.mt that at around 7:45am, the Rapid Intervention Unit (RIU) was called to aid in the incident at Triq Musat Azzopardi in Rabat. The reason the child was locked inside has not been yet confirmed.The RIU used Res-Q-Me equipment which allows officers to break windows and glass of locked houses and cars. In extreme cases such as this one, this equipment could help save a life.Read: “I cried through everything but I did it”WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Read more