Abortions for cleft palate, an easily-fixed facial deformity, have been rising in the United Kingdom, according to the latest official figures
. In 2015, 11 were carried out. The comparable figure in 2012 was 4.
Campaigners point the finger at new pre-natal tests which allow doctors to inform pregnant women of the defect. MP Fiona Bruce, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pro-Life Group, said: “It is deeply disturbing if these figures reflect a worrying trend in society to disproportionately value the physically perfect and beautiful.”
Lord Alton, a crossbench peer, commented: “Aborting a baby with a cleft palate should be unconscionable. For the law to allow this up to birth should be unthinkable.”
A prominent Church of England curate, the Reverend Joanna Jepson, who was born with a jaw deformity, told the Daily Mail
: “That this kind of discrimination is on the rise shows just how far we are from being the humane and tolerant society we claim to be.”