Shocking revelations from Britain of a mother giving birth to a perfectly healthy girl – after being advised by doctors to abort what they wrongly diagnosed to be a brain damaged baby, has called into question the quality and competence of medical counselling offered to pregnant mothers.
Speaking from his office in Rome, veteran Italian politician Luca Volontè, Honorary President of the European People’s Party in the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly and Dignitatis Humanae Institute Chairman, stated:
“This situation is tragic but sadly not surprising. In what must be a time of terrible anguish for the parents, all efforts must be made to offer extensive information and a variety of opinions – such neutral advice does not exist in Britain, nor in many other European countries. Companies such as Marie Stopes International are referred to for counselling directly by the NHS, while other genuinely independent organisations such as disability groups – those without a financial interest in selling abortions – are prevented from doing so.
“This particular case also demonstrates the subjective reasoning being made by medical staff on what constitutes ‘life worthy of living’ – a value judgement that many patients will often believe to be infallible , but as this case shows, patients should not be afraid to assert their autonomy on the best course of action.”
Liane and Ian Stooke from Bristol were told by doctors their baby would suffer from severe brain damage and have little to no ability of recognition, communication or movement. Liane was already 30 weeks pregnant – beyond the normal limit for abortion – when doctors pushed for termination, stating her baby would not enjoy a meaningful life. ”The doctor said it wasn’t too late if we wanted to abort the baby – he made it sound almost as if there was no other option,” said Mrs Stooke. Thankfully for baby Miley, Ian and Liane chose to defy such encouragements and proceed with the pregnancy, only to discover their daughter was perfectly healthy and suffered from none of the afflictions predicted by doctors.
Luca Volontè concluded:
“Evidently the support structure in place for parents in this position is not fit for purpose. How many times has this occurred? Why aren’t such figures even recorded? Sadly, in 2011, the British Parliament rejected proposals from Nadine Dorries MP to increase the range of opinion and expertise available to pregnant mothers for counselling. I can only offer sympathy to all would-be parents across the world, who having aborted their own child under similar advice, now have to live with the doubt of what might have been, the doubt that they entirely unnecessarily terminated their longed-for son or daughter.”