A recent poll of healthcare professionals in Flanders, Belgium, found that 89.1% of physicians surveyed supported the introduction of infanticide for babies with non-fatal conditions. This would involve directly administering a lethal combination of drugs to end the life of a newborn child. This is another dark and barbaric development in the extension of abortion logic. It leaves even those immersed every day in the right to life battle, grasping for words.
Yes, we are familiar with extreme arguments. Yes, we recognise that for very many ‘doctors’ the child, both inside and outside the womb is a ‘product’ of no real value. But the latest development is something that should cause real alarm about how degraded the practice of modern medicine has become.
The two-patient model of maternity care which recognises the unique and irreplaceable value of both mother and unborn child has been undermined for years now. Throughout that period of time the unborn child has been consistently hidden from view. Its dignity and inherent worth has been denied and its claim on our compassion has been eroded. Under these conditions how long was it ever going to take before the same ‘logic’ was ruthlessly applied to newborn babies, perhaps only minutes, hours or days old?
There is no point in pretending that such proposals will not make their way to these shores, or that the medical establishment in this State will somehow be unique in resisting the calls for such ‘choice’ to be secured as a ‘right’. In this sense what we are witnessing in Belgium is in fact a heart-breaking window into the future of European and Irish abortion debates.
The Belgian poll should now make it abundantly clear where we are headed as a society if a radical change of hearts and minds does not happen. There is no longer any excuse for ignorance. The Belgian poll reminds us that where the value of human life is consistently diminished, even being born will not be enough to protect you, especially if you are a newborn child with an illness.
What was once a nightmare scenario – ending the lives of newborn babies – has arrived at the point where it is now entering mainstream medical debates. We must resist with every cultural, political and legislative resource at our disposal the advancement of State medicine that panders to the latest ‘pro-choice’ whim and jettisons the time-honoured medical tradition of ‘First Do No Harm’.
Those who highlight the potential for such atrocities as the introduction of infanticide within our health service cannot be accused of scaremongering. In the lead up to the abortion referendum in 2018, supporters of abortion dismissed every claim from the pro-life side as farfetched and untrue. It was a deeply dishonest strategy, but they were pushing an open door as the mainstream media accepted everything they said without question.
Two years on from the referendum, it is clear for anyone who bothers to look that the claims made by the pro-life side are, sadly, already coming to pass, not least with the huge increase in the number of abortions taking place.
There is a small window of opportunity before ghastly practices like ‘after birth abortions’ or infanticide become openly embraced here. We need to take full advantage of this time, with conviction and without apology.
There is no destination or journey’s end for the pro-abortion side. They will keep going undeterred and keep expanding the grounds for ending innocent human life if permitted to do so. The latest poll results from Belgium presents an opportunity for us to drive this frightening but irrefutable point home.
Eilís Mulroy is a spokesperson for the Pro-Life Campaign