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UKIP abortion call sparks Mencap outrage
Tuesday 18 December 2012
Mencap has said it is “disgusted and horrified” by a UKIP candidate’s call for the compulsory abortion of foetuses with Down’s syndrome or spina bifida
The proposal, aimed at cutting NHS costs, was made by Geoffrey Clarke, the UK Independence Party’s Kent councillor, in his personal online manifesto published in December.
Mark Goldring, chief executive of Mencap, slammed the proposal for “forced eugenics against disabled people”, noting it came in a year when the Paralympic Games had helped change attitudes towards disabled people for the better.
He said: “It is abhorrent that Geoffrey Clarke 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.”
Mr Clarke had called for a review to "re-examine the pregnancy abortion time limit. Consider 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".
He also said the NHS should consider “free euthanasia advice to all folk over 80 years” for whom medical treatments was “extremely costly”.
Mr Clarke later apologised for any offence caused but has now been suspended by UKIP.