I’m loving the Paralympics at the moment. In fact I am finding myself moved emotionally every time I watch. Each one of these athletes is a hero. The courage and determination they have had to find within themselves to get to this level of competing is very humbling. But I have also found myself feeling moved for their parents. Perhaps because I am a parent myself, and also a Godmother to a little child with Down syndrome. I have witnessed first hand the courage and determination his parents have had to find – and also the joy and happiness they weren’t expecting to find!
My thoughts then turn to more serious matters. legally in the UK (and many other countries) many of these Paralympians did not have the same human rights as non-disabled children when they were in their mothers wombs. Currently in the UK it is legal to abort a baby for any reason up to 24 weeks gestation. However, if the child has a disability, it is legal to abort that baby up until birth.
That’s right – in the UK, between 24 and 40 weeks gestation, disabled children do not have the same human rights as non-disabled children. There is no other name for this other than ‘Discrimination’.
There is a lot of talk in the media currently regarding Atos and the government and how unfair the disability benefit system is. Perhaps people would like to start arguing the issue of aborting children purely for the reason that they are disabled? Just a thought…
The other thing that struck me in particular was Stephen Hawking during the opening ceremony. The diagnosis of motor neurone disease came in 1962 when Hawking was 21, shortly before his first marriage, and doctors said he would not survive more than two or three years. By 1974, he was unable to feed himself or get out of bed. In 1975 he lost his ability to speak.
This year he celebrates his 70th birthday. He has been married twice and has 3 children and 3 grandchildren!
Here is a man who refuses to give up on life! He has mentally and emotionally overcome his disability and has lived a fuller life than most of us can ever dream of! Hats off to you Mr. Hawking!
I felt so sad that Tony Nicklinson was not here to see it with the rest of us.