Open Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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Open Letter to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 10, 2017
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Open Letter To:
Ms Catalina Devandas Aguilar
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
c/o sr.disability@ohchr.org / crpd@ohchr.org

RE: “Concluding observations on the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” CRPD/C/GBR/CO/1, 29 August 2017 (As adopted during the 18th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (14 -31 August 2017)

9 November 2017

Dear Ms Devandas Aguilar and members of the CRPD,

I am the International Coordinator of the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion and an abortion rights advocate for more than 35 years, living in the UK. I am writing to you in a personal capacity regarding the “Concluding observations on the report of the UK to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”, as above.

Your recommendations to the UK overall are absolutely fair and just, but I am writing to take issue with those related to abortion, and to explain why. These are as follows:

Equality and non-discrimination (art. 5)

The Committee is concerned about perceptions in society that stigmatize persons with disabilities as living a life of less value than that of others and about the termination of pregnancy at any stage on the basis of fetal impairment.
The Committee recommends that the State party amend its abortion law accordingly. Women’s rights to reproductive and sexual autonomy should be respected without legalizing selective abortion on the ground of fetal deficiency.

My concerns regarding these recommendations are threefold: the first is to do with your definition of “a person”. The second is to do with the reasons why women have abortions vs. how different laws address and codify reasons for abortion as legal or illegal grounds. The third is that I believe including any ground for abortion in the law whatsoever – apart from permitting abortion at the woman’s request – is a mistake because it serves to restrict women’s autonomy and decisions over their own bodies.

Continued at source: http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/open-letter-to-the-special-rapporteur-and-committee-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/

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U.S.: Disability and the Right to Choose

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Disability and the Right to Choose

Dadu Shin
May 10, 2017

As a young woman, I had no particular desire to be a mother. I was neither for nor against having and raising a child, and as things were at the time, the opportunity had not presented itself. That changed when I was 29 and met Jim, the man who would become my husband. In 2002, not long after we married, I gave birth to my son.

In my 20s, I was neutral about parenthood partly because, as a woman with cerebral palsy, I was spared the usual intrusive questioning and expectations about having children that most women are subject to. People never pressured me to have children; they just assumed that I could not. In fact, it became clear very fast that women like me are expected not to reproduce. Now, in my 40s, I find these attitudes ignorant and prejudicial, but as a young woman, it seemed like a bit of freedom to be excused from the usual problems women complain about.

Continued at link: New York Times: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/opinion/disability-and-the-right-to-choose.html

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India: SC denies abortion nod to woman with Down Syndrome foetus

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SC denies abortion nod to woman with Down Syndrome foetus
New Delhi February 28, 2017 12:48 IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to allow a woman, who is in her 26th week of pregnancy, to abort her foetus on the ground that it suffered from Down syndrome, saying “we have a life in our hands.”

The apex court said that as per a report of the medical board constituted to examine the 37-year-old woman, there was no physical risk to the mother in continuation of pregnancy.

Continued at source: The Hindu: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/SC-denies-abortion-nod-to-woman-with-Down-Syndrome-foetus/article17381665.ece

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India: It’s about time to bring abortion out of dingy alley, stigma

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It’s about time to bring abortion out of dingy alley, stigma
Jan 23, 2017
by Sanchita Sharma

The Supreme Court on Monday relaxed the 20-week legal ceiling on abortion to allow a woman to abort her 24-week baby with anencephaly, a life-threatening congenital defect where a baby is born without parts of the brain, skull and scalp.

India’s Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act legalises abortions up to 20 weeks if there is threat to the mother’s life or her physical or mental health, or if the unborn baby has abnormalities, but many women end up using unsafe abortions methods because they don’t know where or who to go because there are not enough legal providers. Many don’t even know it’s legal to abort up to 20 weeks.

[continued at link]
Source, Hindustan Times: http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/it-s-about-time-to-bring-abortion-out-of-dingy-alley-stigma/story-BPTSEuapnlHCwg4HT3buIK.html

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Abortion and disability: it’s all about who decides

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Ann Furedi, CEO, BPAS

The only moral code we need on abortion is this: trust women.

7 October 2016

Future NHS availability of non-invasive pregnancy testing (NIPT) for Down’s syndrome is certain to reduce the number of women who have invasive diagnostic testing. Everyone agrees this is good news because more women will have information about their pregnancy at an earlier stage, and fewer women will be subjected to the small but significant risks associated with amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.

The introduction of NIPT will probably reduce the number of children born with Down’s syndrome, since more women are likely to opt for the test and, if the condition is identified, more women may avail themselves of the earlier abortion. Not everyone agrees this is good news. But why not?

[continued at link]
Source: Spiked

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