A council candidate in the United Kingdom has been suspended after recommending that the National Health Service consider mandating mothers to abort their disabled children.
Geoffrey Clark, a professing Christian, had been running for Kent County Council. However, Clark stirred up a firestorm recently when he made the recommendation as a means to decrease national debt.
“[The NHS should review] compulsory abortion when the fetus is detected as having Down’s, spina bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, could render the child a burden on the state as well as the family,” he said.
He suggested that euthanasia be considered as well for the elderly.
“[L]egalizing euthanasia and giving free euthanasia advice to all folk over 80” should be a part of the review, Clark said.
While he stated that he is not necessarily approving of these ideas, Clark said that he thought the practices might help save the nation money.
Since making the comments, many have expressed disdain at the notion.
“It is abhorrent that Geoffrey Clark sees disabled people solely as a burden when people with a learning disability lead full lives and make valuable contributions to their communities and families,” said Mark Goulding of the charity Mencap, which works with disabled children. “Much has been written about the Paralympics this summer changing attitudes towards disabled people for the better.”
Andrea Williams of Christian Concern also expressed shock at the recommendation.
“Mr. Clark’s views are abominable. They have no basis in Christian teaching whatsoever,” she said. “The Bible is very clear that all people are made in the image of God. This means that all lives are worth living, with or without disability.”
“The suggestion to take away the lives of unborn children with Down’s syndrome or spina bifida is simply unjustifiable,” she continued. “It is very worrying that anyone would propose abortion as a way of saving money.”
The UKIP Party also forthrightly suspended Clark and stated that even if he was elected, he would not be permitted to serve as a council member.
“The party was not aware of these views when it allowed him to stand under our name,” a spokesperson outlined. “Mr. Clark has been formally suspended as a UKIP candidate and will not be standing for the party again.”
“We would like to apologize to anyone who has suffered distress as a result of this matter,” the party added.
Clark is reported to belong to Meopham Parachial Church Council, and according to BBC News, said that he would “promote the Christian ethic and British culture, roll back Islam, contain UK population growth and restrict immigration” if elected.
Photo: Allison Stillwell