Parents of Down children taking Govt to top court

NZ Herald 23 June 2011
A group of New Zealand parents intending to lay charges in the International Criminal Court in The Hague says the Government  is guilty of social engineering.

The group says NZ’s genetic-screening programme condones selective breeding and aims to prevent the birth of children with Down syndrome.

“It devalues the lives of our children,” said Mike Sullivan, spokesman for the group and father of  a 3-year-old  girl with Down syndrome.

“I would never accept my child is less human than anyone else’s.”

He said the Government was endorsing a  state-encouraged pregnancy-termination regime, introduced last year, to the tune of $27 million.

Ministry of Health  documents  state the desired outcome of the programme would be a reduction in Down syndrome births, Mr Sullivan said.

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act suggest 90 per cent of pregnancies showing Down syndrome might now be terminated in New Zealand, leaving about 62 babies born with Down syndrome each year.

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