United Nations: abortion on disability grounds denounced

Publié le 6 Nov, 2017

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has stated in an official document that abortion on the grounds of foetal disability is contrary to the Convention relating to the rights of persons with disabilities[1]. In the same document, the Committee explains “that this type of abortion is often based on incorrect diagnoses” which, “even if they are not wrong,” encourage “bias based on which the disability would be incompatible with a happy life”. This announcement “is of major importance” and also takes a stand “against the ‘right to euthanasia’ claim”, which “perpetuates the idea that severely disabled people are suffering and would be happier dead”.


This announcement comes at a time when the Human Rights Committee has, for its part,  “undertaken to reinterpret the ‘right to life’ as including a right to abortion specifically when (…) the foetus has fatal malformations”. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities “is calling for the withdrawal of this statement”. The  European Centre for Law and Justice points out that in 1947, “the authors of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also strongly opposed any attempt to ‘prevent the birth of mentally handicapped children’ and children ‘born to parents with a mental disorder”.


[1] Art. 4, 5 and 8.

European Centre for Law and Justice, Gregor Puppinck (23/10/2017)

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