A mother has opened up about a traumatizing experience that occurred as she took her four-year-old daughter to school. Emma Ross lives in Cheshunt, England with her children, 10-year-old Alex and four-year-old Quinn. Quinn has Perthes disease, a non-fatal hip disorder that can make walking painful, so she uses a wheelchair. The family was cornered by a man who screamed in their faces that Quinn should have been aborted, and police are now investigating it as a hate crime.
Ross said Quinn was traumatized after the stranger approached them and began screaming that Quinn should have been aborted. “The man was yelling in her face, saying she shouldn’t have been born, she was a drain on the NHS, a drain on society and that I should have had her aborted if I’d known she was going to be disabled,” Ross said, according to the Mirror. “It was appalling. I pushed him away, power-walked off to school and it was the school who phoned the police.”
Hertfordshire Police responded with a statement slamming the man’s actions. “A four year old girl from Cheshunt who was verbally abused on her way to school because she was in a wheelchair has been supported by specialist police officers,” a spokesperson said. “Quinn Ross, who suffers from a rare condition called Perthes’ disease, which affects the top of the thigh bone in the hip joint, was in an alleyway when a man shouted at her.”
Taresa Holden, a police officer who investigates hate crimes, added, “No one should worry about leaving home and facing abuse, particularly a little girl who is in too much pain to walk to school because of a rare medical condition.” But that’s exactly what has happened, according to Ross, who said that Quinn is now scared to leave the house in her wheelchair.
Quinn’s disability is non-fatal, and while she can only walk 10-15 steps at a time currently, it is hoped that one day, she won’t need a wheelchair at all. Yet as this experience shows in the extreme, some still regarding those with disabilities as unworthy of life. In the United Kingdom, people with disabilities are routinely discriminated against.
A Parliament report from earlier this year found that Britons with disabilities face horrific abuse and bullying online — and yet, as The Independent pointed out, when victims of online hate crimes come forward, they are usually not believed. Thousands of adults with disabilities have also been victims of sexual abuse, all while the United Kingdom cuts services for the disabled. Abuse of the disabled by home care aides has also been increasing.
Parents of disabled children are also able to kill them, even if they aren’t dying, if they can find a judge willing to agree that their quality of life is poor enough. And then for parents who desperately want to save the lives of their disabled children, a judge can likewise overrule them and decide they should die, as heartbreakingly evidenced by the Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases. Numerous politicians have likewise publicly called for children with disabilities to be either murdered or forcibly aborted.
And it is this that is the most stark reminder of how little disabled lives are valued: abortion. In the United Kingdom, abortion is banned after 24 weeks… unless the preborn child has a disability, no matter how minor. Lord Peter Shinkwin, who has osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, has made it his mission to overturn the law. “I can see from the trends in abortion on grounds of disability that the writing is on the wall for people like me,” he said in a speech before parliament. People with congenital disabilities are facing extinction. If we were animals, perhaps we might qualify for protection as an endangered species. But we are only human beings with disabilities, so we don’t qualify.” Even women who undergo IVF, and desperately want a baby, have undergone abortions simply because the child has Down syndrome. Women who have disabilities are also forced into abortions or contraception.
With these attitudes and actions towards people with disabilities running rampant in the United Kingdom, is it any wonder that children like Quinn inevitably suffer hatred just for existing?
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