The Morrison Government is now funding the screening of human embryos for defects.
Black lives of course matter.
But what about the lives of disabled people?
It seems they don’t because we are on a quest to eradicate them before they even draw breath.
We’ve been doing this through pre-natal testing and abortion for decades.
But we are getting more sophisticated, the process more sanitised.
News broke at the weekend that the Morrison Government will allow Medicare to pay for Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) of human embryos produced by Invitro Fertilisation.
This means if a genetic disorder is picked up, parents have the option of killing their embryo.
No need to even contemplate a pregnancy that might not produce a perfect baby.
But is this ethical?
What message does it send to disabled people?
Morrison’s Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced $95 million to screen them out.
“Medicare funding will support individuals or couples who carry a risk of passing on a serious genetic or chromosomal disorder to their child for which there is no cure and which causes a severe limitation on the quality of life,” Hunt said.
It seems some lives are not worth living.
PGT is carried out on five-day-old embryos. Parents known to be carriers of genetic disorders that can lead to cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, fragile X, neurofibromatosis and Huntington disease can now test their embryos for free.
Ones found to contain genetic disorders can be destroyed, the others implanted in the mother’s womb.
It is not known what people living with these diseases think of our latest move to stop others like them coming into the world.
The internet is full of stories of beautiful children living with cystic fibrosis being cared for lovingly.
Muscular Dystrophy NSW’s website says “our mission is to empower, connect and support people with neuromuscular conditions, and be an effective advocate for the neuromuscular community”.
The Morrison Government’s funding of PGT might put them out of business because why bother helping people with a “limitation on the quality of life”?
According to a kids health information fact sheet on the Royal Melbourne Children’s hospital website, many children with neurofibromatosis “have no or very few medical problems, but about four in 10 children will have some complications”.
But for some reason, the Morrison Government wants to pay parents to screen their embryos so the option of killing them remains live.
Fragile X syndrome causes intellectual disability and behavioural and learning challenges. Again, such embryos pick-up by taxpayer-funded screening are for killing.
We need a DLM movement – Disabled Lives Matter.
That a story like this can break with no public uproar is testament to decades of pre-natal testing and abortion of disabled babies.
We are desensitised.
I write about how politicians defend this in “Blood on our Medicare Cards”, a chapter in my book, I Kid You Not – Notes From 20 Years in the Trenches of the Culture Wars, which describes how the government saves money by allowing disabled babies to be aborted.
Killing an embryo is easier on the conscience than an unborn baby with a heartbeat and human-in-miniature form, hence the silence since Greg Hunt went public.
Wikipedia defines eugenics as “a set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population, historically by excluding people and groups judged to be inferior or promoting those judged to be superior”.
In my book I quote former Senator Ron Boswell who said of the killing of the disabled to save money that “this is the type of thinking that was typical of the Hitler regime”.
Scott Morrison might be a serious Christian. But his government is not serious about upholding the dignity of the human creature.
Lyle Shelton is Director of Campaigns and Communications for the Christian Democratic Party. To keep in touch with Lyle and the CDP, sign up here.