Petition against neonatal infanticide submitted to Council of Europe

eclj-1The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) and FAFCE have submitted today a petition signed by more than 185,000 European citizens to Mark Neville, Head of the Private Office of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, requesting the CoE to take action against the abominable practice of neonatal infanticides. The dossier will now be subject to an admissibility examination during the PACE’s next session from the 20th to the 24th of April 2015.

When a child is born very prematurely, everything is put in place to save them. If survival is not possible, the baby still receives care and is supported until their death. The opposite is true in the situation of babies born alive after an attempted abortion. In effect, every year, in European countries, numerous babies are born alive after abortions, in particular when they are practiced after the 20th week of pregnancy. According to the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at 23 weeks of gestation, 10% of babies survive abortion. These children, who may be injured by the abortion, are most often abandoned to die without medical care, suffering in a basin and struggling to breathe, or killed by lethal injection or asphyxiation (in particular when they are capable of surviving), even thrown out with biological waste. This is an inhuman treatment and contrary to the most basic human rights.

From right to left: Grégor Puppinck (ECLJ), Mark Neville (Head of Private Office) & Philippe Toussaint (FAFCE)

Official statistics for England and Wales indicate that in 2005, 66 newborns survived their abortion and suffered for sometimes more than ten hours. Following a scandal provoked by the revelation of these facts, Great Britain ceased publication of these statistics. In the public hospitals alone in Canada (outside Quebec), 622 babies were born alive after an abortion between 2000 and 2011. Countries that officially recognise these situations are rare but they are occurring everywhere. The press will sometimes report on it, such as in Italy in 2010, when a baby aborted at 20 weeks (four and a half months) for having a cleft palate lived for two days.

These children are born to die in an agony we would not tolerate if it were inflicted on an animal.

It is hoped that this petition will trigger a renewed debate on abortion, given that the gruesome practices it addresses evidences that both abortion and neonatal infanticide are in fact the very same thing: the deliberate killing (by direct action or omission) of a human being.