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Defending life from the moment of conception

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RCOG turns away disabled woman with petition on infanticide

13 June 2007

RCOG turns away disabled woman with petition on infanticide London, 13 June 2007 - The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has today refused to let a wheelchair-user present a petition on the infanticide of disabled babies. Officials told Alison Davis, leader of the No Less Human disability rights group, that she could not come in because she would need someone to push her wheelchair, and the RCOG would only let one person into its London headquarters. Alison Davis said: "It would be comical if it weren't also tragic that the RCOG, which has asked for a debate on the killing of babies with disabilities such as spina bifida, won't let me, a disabled person, hand over our petition which has some 28,000 signatures. Neither I nor my carer is a threat to anyone." Ms Davis has spina bifida. No Less Human has decided that, because of the RCOG's refusal to admit Ms Davis, the petition will not be presented today. The group is determined that Ms Davis should nevertheless present the petition to the RCOG in person. John Smeaton, head of SPUC of which No Less Human is a part, said: "The RCOG is a body which should have respect for women whom they are supposed to serve and it is particularly disgraceful that they have refused entry to a disabled person. This is discrimination against disabled people who wanted to protest against proposals that disabled people should be killed." In a submission to the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the RCOG called for people to "think more radically about non-resuscitation, withdrawal of treatment decisions, the best interests test and active euthanasia." The petition is addressed to Sir Allan Templeton, RCOG president. It invokes the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights which upholds the right to life of all members of the human family, including newborn babies and disabled people. The petition calls on the RCOG to withdraw its comments urging a debate on infanticide. More information on the petition is here . Pictures of the demo are here .

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