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This may be a moment for justified Schadenfreude

I have no love for international governmental agencies such as the International Criminal Court. But since New Zealand has apparently subjected itself to the ICC, I cannot help getting a certain amount of pleasure out of this spectacle:

Apparently the "Rome Statute," a part of the code the ICC enforces, prohibits "the persecution of an identifiable part of the civilian population." The Rome Statute also refers to deliberate policies of "birth prevention" aimed against a portion of the civilian population as relevant to the crime of genocide (but see more on that below).

An activist group representing the interests of people with Down Syndrome and another group representing people with spina bifida have brought a formal complaint against the government of New Zealand, referring to the Rome Statute, for the government's blatantly eugenic prenatal screening program. According to the complaint, the government has expressly said in its goals that the intent of the program is to prevent the births of people with Down Syndrome, spina bifida, and some other disabilities.

The ICC prosecutor is evidently taking this seriously enough not to toss it out ab initio. My guess is that the rub will come in this: While the "persecution" portion of the Rome Statute refers more generally to "identifiable groups" of the population, the "birth prevention" section (on genocide) refers only to attempts to destroy a "national, ethnical, racial or religious group." Presumably this will be used as an argument that a deliberate and unabashed attempt to wipe out people with Down Syndrom and spina bifida by killing them before they are born doesn't count.

Still, it's worth a try. I can only applaud the efforts of the groups who have brought the complaint. If New Zealand is hoist with the petard of international governance when it comes to disgusting governmental eugenics programs, I won't be crying.

HT: Secondhand Smoke

Comments (8)

I just looked up spina bifida at the NIH. Under "Expectations," or prognosis, they say: "A myelomeningocele can usually be surgically corrected. With treatment, length of life is not severely affected." (This doesn't mean, of course, that lifelong problems will not persist. They will. But there is treatment.)

Under "Treatment," the first course of action mentioned is this: "Genetic counseling may be recommended. In some cases where severe defect is detected early in the pregnancy, a therapeutic abortion may be considered." (Don't you love the passive voice?)

That's how we think now: killing somebody is treatment.

I see that. Wow. And then in the next paragraph it coolly goes on to describe actual treatment by surgery. Y'know. If you end up somehow with a live born baby and have to engage in some real treatment.

Years ago I read a story in a Right to Life publication about a little girl with spina bifida. Her parents were advised either to abort her or not to have the necessary surgery at birth (so that she would die, I gather) and wavered but eventually decided to give birth and have her treated properly. I forget the details. By the time the story was written she was a toddler and walking with crutches. The mother was quoted as saying, "I mean, when they told us that she would just be nothing..." That was how she trailed off. They were told that the baby would "just be nothing." One wonders how a mother could even contemplate believing that. What does it even mean for your baby to "just be nothing"? Fortunately, one way and another, the parents decided that the baby wasn't just nothing, so she made it through the gauntlet.

That's how we think now: killing somebody is treatment.

Unfortunately, I actually have at least one friend who is like this. He lectured me on God's judgment for saying I would have no problem shooting two men who attempt to break into a neighbor's house at night if they wouldn't surrender (he was upset about a case in Texas concerning stand your ground rights), but goes on to support abortion. It is very hard for me to see the humanity in someone who prioritizes the lives of violent criminals over unborn children. In fact, it's why at times I am ambivalent to the idea of burning heretics at the stake.

In fact, it's why at times I am ambivalent to the idea of burning heretics at the stake.

Since some of the liberal lurkers can be obtuse, I'm not saying I wish any harm on this person, just that I cannot get worked up anymore when I read about people being punished by the state for publicly advocating profoundly wrong things.

I enjoyed your post and assessment, thank you for applauding our work. You may be interested that it is the term "racial" that is one of the matters we are looking for the ICC to rule on. The case law is clear that the genocide provisions applys to any "permanent and stable group of people". More interesting is the term "racial", rather than "race". The term racial was adopted after the Nuremburg trials and what happened during WWII, under the racial hygiene policies. The first racial hygiene policy was the T4 programme in mid 1939. It targeted the disabled community and both Down syndrome and Spida Bifida were listed in the 6 categories that were targeted for killing. There is a host of evidence to demonstrate that these communities are protected as a group of people, so it is important to have that resolved.

Thanks for that info, Mike Sullivan. It would have all sorts of ramifications for law--I would guess both national and international--if having Down Syndrome or Spina bifida were defined as membership in a "racial group," so I'd be surprised if the court were willing to "go there." They might, for example, argue that Down Syndrome people were targeted in a "racial hygiene" program not because they constituted a "racial group" in themselves but because they were regarded as "defective" members of the racial group (presumably Aryans) that the eugenicists were trying to "clean up" (as in "hygiene"). I would guess that that may even be historically correct, though of course I haven't researched the history as much as you doubtless have done. It would be even more useful had disabled status been defined as a protected class against slaughter in the Rome Statute, but evidently not. If your complaint is not allowed, it would be helpful if genocidal attempts against the disabled could be expressly mentioned in such a statute.

Apologies for the somewhat off-topic but this may be of interest,


Yes, it is OT, Al. I may post about this poor reasoning later in another post. But rather interesting that you shd. think of posting it here...Never mind, I'll refrain from psychoanalyzing.

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