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Mencap “disgusted and horrified” by UKIP candidate who has called for compulsory abortion of any foetus with Down’s syndrome or Spina Bifida
Tuesday 18 December 2012
Learning disability charity Mencap has slammed the manifesto of Kent County Council UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clark, who has proposed the compulsory abortion of any foetus with Down’s syndrome or Spina Bifida, as “forced eugenics against disabled people”.
Mark Goldring, chief executive of learning disability charity Mencap:
“Mencap is disgusted and horrified by the manifesto of Kent County Council UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clark, who has proposed the compulsory abortion of any foetus with Down’s syndrome or Spina Bifida.
Much has been written about the Paralympics this summer changing attitudes towards disabled people for the better. Yet in the very same year, a council candidate has proposed forced eugenics against disabled people.
It is abhorrent that Geoffrey Clark sees disabled people solely as a burden, when people with a learning disability lead full lives, and make valuable contributions to their communities and families. We question if he is fit for public office.”
In his manifesto for the Gravesham Council, Kent County Council and UKIP’s National Executive Committee elections, Geoffrey Clark has proposed considering “compulsory abortion when the foetus is detected as having Downs, Spina Bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, will render the child a burden on the state as well as on the family.” His manifesto can be read here http://geoffreyclark.webs.com/manifesto
For further information or to interview a Mencap spokesperson, please contact Pasca Lane, Senior PR Officer at Mencap on firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7696 6017.
There are 1.5 million people with a learning disability in the UK. Mencap works to support people with a learning disability and their families and carers by fighting to change laws and improve services and access to education, employment and leisure facilities. Mencap supports thousands of people with a learning disability to live their lives the way they want.
What is a learning disability?
A learning disability is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities – for example household tasks, socialising or managing money – which affects someone for their whole life.
People with a learning disability tend to take longer to learn and may need support to develop new skills, understand complex information and interact with other people.
The level of support someone needs depends on individual factors, including the severity of their learning disability.