It has been an interesting week as the media has been abuzz with the news that the International Criminial Court will undertake a preliminary investigation into New Zealand’s ante-natal screening programme.
We should not be surprised that many doctors and midwives – people whose vocation is to care for mother and baby – place themselves in a position where they advocate for the death of one of their patients. We should not be surprised that so many parents who enter into the maternal health care system, walk the screening road only with the guidance of people who believe that it is better to “terminate the pregnancy” than live with what they perceive to be the “burden” of a disabled or unwell child.
We shouldn’t be surprised because this is the culture in which we live. A culture where perfection is key. Where money and time and how much a person can contribute to society without taking from it, is the way to determine true worth.
Somewhere along the way, our culture has forgotten that people are worthwhile simply because they exist! We each have our difficulties, problems, addictions and quirks that make us uniquely us. We refuse to acknowledge that even the “perfect” among us are not so “perfect” after all. There are trends where it becomes acceptable to welcome certain parts of society into the “in-crowd”, but then we forget about all the others we have ostracized.
As a society, led by feminists, social engineers and the medical profession, we have chosen to believe that a person does not exist until he or she is born into this world. For some reason, we pull the cover over our eyes, believing that our “rights” to live how we want to must come first. In doing so, society has forgotten that with rights come responsibilities. Most importantly the responsibility to love, protect and care for the most vulnerable among us. There is no-one more vulnerable than the preborn child who cannot speak for himself.
It is time for our medical professionals to realise their responsibility to care for both of their patients. It is time for the maternal health system to find ways to properly support women and girls who are facing pregnancies that are unintended or where a disability (such as Down Syndrome or Spina Bifida) or grave health issue is detected in the preborn child. Offering to kill their child is not supporting women.
It is time for every child conceived to be loved, protected and nurtured both inside the womb and after birth because this is the right of every human being. It is time that every man and woman who conceives a child realises this.