Becoming a mum can be an overwhelming experience. The first time you hear your child’s heartbeat while still in the womb brings tears to your eyes. You may feel the need to know everything before your baby takes his first breath in the outside world. Learning to be a good mother is a process that requires a lot of on-the-job training and patience. But… what if you found out that your baby was sick or disabled? Would you abort him? Virginia Ironside, An Agony Aunt for United Kingdom’s Woman Magazine would. She said so herself on national television:
“If I were the mother of a suffering child – I mean a deeply suffering child – I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face . . . If it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would.”
Virginia Ironside on Sunday Morning Live with her fellow guests.
Ironside’s views on euthanasia and abortion sparked an outrage with the television audiences of the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live. However, Ironside is not new to controversy. She had argued that abortion could be a moral choice – if it prevented an unwanted child or a child being born profoundly disabled, then it was a good decision that a woman could be proud of.
The thing is – does ‘disabled’ also mean ‘unwanted’?
To say anything negative about disability is an insult to all disabled people. And yet, at the same time, it is absolutely self-evident that some people, with very little function and a lot of pain, have a poor quality of life.
What do you think? Was Virginia Ironside rightful to say that it is OK to kill your child when they are disabled? Also, do you think that ‘moral society’ fails to accommodate impairment?
Share with us your thoughts and views.