The furore caused by Michael Law’s recent comments regarding eradicating Down syndrome should not surprise anyone. Eugenic thought is alive and well in New Zealand, and has been for some time.
Laws, who is a Whanganui District Health Board Member, updated his Facebook status on December 8 to read
I think most women, having discovered they’re carrying a Downs Syndrome foetus, would abort. Dear Lord, very natural reaction. Incredibly though there are a group of DS activists (the parents of) who want to DENY this test to expectant mothers because they think it has the potential to eradicate Downs Syndrome. And I’m thinking: what a bloody fantastic achievement that would be. Next: multiple sclerosis.
Yes, Laws wants to eradicate people who have Down syndrome and all of those who don’t fit into his perfect little box of what a human being should achieve in life and how they should look and behave. But that’s nothing new.
Don’t forget that Laws championed the Death with Dignity Bill in 1995, which failed to pass.
In Law’s world legal euthanasia would be ideal as all the “unfit” could be exterminated post birth.
The comments on Law’s Facebook page make for interesting reading. Many are pro-abortion – especially when the unborn child is found to have Down syndrome or any other condition which ignites the flame of fear.
It seems that “choice” is what it all comes down to.
The “choice” of someone with power to take the life of someone with no power and no voice.
An idea that is at the heart of eugenics.
Every time the reproductive habits of beneficiaries comes under the spotlight, forced sterilisation and mandatory contraception are put forward as legitimate and very appropriate solutions by those who wish to see less children from the “unfit”.
The Government has gone some way to make that type of thinking policy. Through WINZ, the additional costs incurred in accessing Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives such as Jadelle, Depo Provera and IUDs can be met for beneficiaries and their daughters aged 16 years or older. These costs, controversially, include travel costs, thereby removing any perceived “barrier” to access for those who fit the criteria.
Tubal ligation is routinely offered to Polynesian women, who have poorer backgrounds. The procedure is pushed on these women, some of whom decide not to tell their husband what they are about to do. Tubal ligation is presented by midwives and doctors as necessary, and the mother, who is often feeling tired and overwhelmed will agree. A mother who refuses tubal ligation will be asked repeatedly if the medical professionals believe it is in her best interests.
New Zealand’s antenatal screening programme is one of “search and destroy”. Maternal scans, screening blood tests and amniocentesis all serve the purpose of allowing midwives and doctors the opportunity to offer termination when the unborn child has an “abnormality”.
Newborn babies with Spina bifida have been left to die.
Family Planning, who have such a large influence on “sexual health” policy in New Zealand are affiliates of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). Their founder, Margaret Sanger was well known for her eugenic thought. Birth control was Sanger’s method of choice for “cleansing” society of the “unfit”. Her ideology still drives the organisation today.
No, nothing should surprise us about Michael Laws’ comments. His loud, disrespectful and offensive comments are only expressing the thoughts of so many who have brought the eugenics line.
May we never forget where that thought led millions of people less than a century ago.