Worthing parents hit back at UKIP candidate's calls to abort children with health difficulties

The Argus: Little Abigail Paine has won medals for gymnastics despite being born with spina bifida Little Abigail Paine has won medals for gymnastics despite being born with spina bifida

The mother of a little girl with spina bifida has condemned a UKIP candidate’s calls to abort children with health difficulties.

Victoria Paine’s daughter Abigail was born with spina bifida but now aged five has gone on to defy doctors’ expectations and win gymnastics championships.

Mrs Paine, from Worthing, said she was horrified to hear the comments made by UKIP candidate Geoffrey Clarke calling for compulsory abortion for Down’s syndrome and spina bifida babies.

Mr Clarke said babies born with the conditions would be “a burden on the state as well as on the family”.

Concert Mrs Paine, who also runs a charity for children with disabilities called Parley, told The Argus she was horrified to hear his remarks.

She said: “My daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me and after hours and hours of spinal repair surgery at eight months old in London, she has gone on to win gold in her gymnastics championship and become fantastic at tennis.

"Who does this politician think he is making assumptions about our children and deciding on whether they have a future or not?

“My biggest concern is that parents who are currently carrying children with these conditions and faced with the difficult decision of deciding whether to continue with their pregnancies may have felt compelled to seek abortions because of these comments.

“I know many children with these conditions who grow up to live normal lives so how dare someone make this comment.”

Condemnation

Chelsea Harman, whose little brother Diego has Down’s syndrome, joined Mrs Paine in setting up a Facebook group condemning Mr Clarke’s remarks.

Ms Harman, also of Worthing, said: “My brother was born with Down’s syndrome August last year and never will be a burden to any of us.

“He is a beautiful 15-month-old toddler who is no different to any child.”

Worthing MP and former children’s minister Tim Loughton, who is patron of Parley charity, condemned Mr Clarke’s remarks He said: “Mr Clarke’s comments are quite simply repugnant and highlight his complete ignorance.

“What Mr Clarke needs to realise is that children who are born with disabilities have just as much right to life as those born without and are loved just as much by their parents.

"Due to the hard work of parents and charities such as Parley, disabled children and their parents can live happy lives and are nowhere near being a ‘burden’ on society.”

To add your support to the campaign visit www.facebook.com/theright2live.

Talking point: How do you feel about Geoffrey Clarke's statement? Share your views by commenting below or email The Argus letters pages letters@theargus.co.uk

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Comments (24)

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1:58pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Fight_Back says...

While I certainly don't condone what Geoffrey Clarke suggested I do find it somewhat strange how the Argus have failed to mention that he's been suspended from UKIP. Half a story to say the least !
While I certainly don't condone what Geoffrey Clarke suggested I do find it somewhat strange how the Argus have failed to mention that he's been suspended from UKIP. Half a story to say the least ! Fight_Back

2:15pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Andy R says...

Yeah...I'll bet he's been suspended.

Farage will need to pay alot of attention to effective PR now that UKIP is assumimg a higher profile. One of the downsides of that for him is that some of the odd statements which issue forth from some of his even odder members will come under scrutiny as never before.
Yeah...I'll bet he's been suspended. Farage will need to pay alot of attention to effective PR now that UKIP is assumimg a higher profile. One of the downsides of that for him is that some of the odd statements which issue forth from some of his even odder members will come under scrutiny as never before. Andy R

2:26pm Fri 21 Dec 12

C. French says...

UKIP reject the abhorrent views expressed in the personal manifesto of Mr Geoffrey Clark, a candidate in the local elections. The party was not aware of these views when it allowed him to stand under our name.

We can confirm that Mr Clark has been formally suspended as a UKIP candidate and will not be standing for the party again.

We would like to apologise to anyone who has suffered distress as a result of this matter.

I trust The Argus will update its report accordingly.

Chris French
Chairman
UKIP Mid Sussex
UKIP reject the abhorrent views expressed in the personal manifesto of Mr Geoffrey Clark, a candidate in the local elections. The party was not aware of these views when it allowed him to stand under our name. We can confirm that Mr Clark has been formally suspended as a UKIP candidate and will not be standing for the party again. We would like to apologise to anyone who has suffered distress as a result of this matter. I trust The Argus will update its report accordingly. Chris French Chairman UKIP Mid Sussex C. French

3:00pm Fri 21 Dec 12

simps46 says...

dxfcvlknxclnbv
dxfcvlknxclnbv simps46

3:02pm Fri 21 Dec 12

simps46 says...

sorry not a comment keyboard malfunction
sorry not a comment keyboard malfunction simps46

3:22pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Andy R says...

Doh.......

I've NOT heard any of them........

obviously!
Doh....... I've NOT heard any of them........ obviously! Andy R

3:46pm Fri 21 Dec 12

a person says...

Geoffrey Clark stressed that neither he nor Ukip specifically endorsed the ideas, of compulsory abortion of foetuses with Down's syndrome or spina bifida.

"They are suggestions of matters for an NHS review body to properly consider, in light of the stated desire of all political parties to reduce the national debt." he said
They could also look at medical treatment for those aged over 80, "which is disproportionately costly to the NHS" and might also include "legalising euthanasia and giving free euthanasia advice to all folk over 80".”
====
Now bearing in mind lots of elderly patience do not get the treatment and care they should be getting and some have died of neglect in hospitals and care homes..
and many people do want euthanasia
to be legal .

Also Lots of abortions on supposedly healthy foetuses are carried out everyday ,
Sometimes just because a baby would be inconvenient ,

I can not see what is wrong with Geoffrey Clark suggesting maybe there could be a debate on these subjects .
Geoffrey Clark stressed that neither he nor Ukip specifically endorsed the ideas, of compulsory abortion of foetuses with Down's syndrome or spina bifida. "They are suggestions of matters for an NHS review body to properly consider, in light of the stated desire of all political parties to reduce the national debt." he said They could also look at medical treatment for those aged over 80, "which is disproportionately costly to the NHS" and might also include "legalising euthanasia and giving free euthanasia advice to all folk over 80".” ==== Now bearing in mind lots of elderly patience do not get the treatment and care they should be getting and some have died of neglect in hospitals and care homes.. and many people do want euthanasia to be legal . Also Lots of abortions on supposedly healthy foetuses are carried out everyday , Sometimes just because a baby would be inconvenient , I can not see what is wrong with Geoffrey Clark suggesting maybe there could be a debate on these subjects . a person

4:52pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Fight_Back says...

Errrr .... where did mine and Andy R's posts go ? There was nothing illegal or controversial about anything either of us posted !
Errrr .... where did mine and Andy R's posts go ? There was nothing illegal or controversial about anything either of us posted ! Fight_Back

5:27pm Fri 21 Dec 12

THERIGHT2LIVE says...

How can anyone even contemplate finding positives in Clarks remarks?
What he said is cruel and wrong and if you had a child with one of these conditions and spent even a millisecond of time thinking about what if abortion had been made compulsory at our time of decision, then you too would feel the way that we do!
No one has complained about UKIP and we are very happy that they have disassociated themselves with Clark, but looking at his by election results having stood independently, he has a lot of followers still!
Our children with Spina Bifida and Downs Syndrome have got nothing to do with our National Debt so this should never have even be suggested to be up for discussion in the first place, let alone anyone backing his comments, OR finding excuses for what was said!
There are plenty of other issues to look at first before aborting our amazing children and if you look at our facebook page, you will see for yourself that these children ARE NOT A BURDEN, they are precious and a credit to society, much happier and content than many others!
How can anyone even contemplate finding positives in Clarks remarks? What he said is cruel and wrong and if you had a child with one of these conditions and spent even a millisecond of time thinking about what if abortion had been made compulsory at our time of decision, then you too would feel the way that we do! No one has complained about UKIP and we are very happy that they have disassociated themselves with Clark, but looking at his by election results having stood independently, he has a lot of followers still! Our children with Spina Bifida and Downs Syndrome have got nothing to do with our National Debt so this should never have even be suggested to be up for discussion in the first place, let alone anyone backing his comments, OR finding excuses for what was said! There are plenty of other issues to look at first before aborting our amazing children and if you look at our facebook page, you will see for yourself that these children ARE NOT A BURDEN, they are precious and a credit to society, much happier and content than many others! THERIGHT2LIVE

7:20pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Hbillinghurst says...

I am shocked that anyone could see that there is a subject to be debated here and applaud UKIP for distancing themselves from such a person.

Any decision on euthanasia could only be made on the explicit wishes of an individual. A government which promoted enforced euthanasia would need to have a long hard look at the average age in the house of lords.

And as for enforced abortion, this offends on a variety of levels. I know various people born with disabilities, several of which are highly educated. Perhaps Mr Clark would like to explain how these people who burden society were able to obtain academic accolades which far surpass most of us, including him in certain circumstances. In response to the comment above as to the fact that many healthy babies are aborted daily, whilst this may be the image that is shown in the media, this by no means can be used as a platform to enforce this on any woman. If a woman chooses to end a pregnancy (without any form of coercion from family or professionals) then fine, but the repercussions of coercion are severe and long term, and often not discussed. Finally, with the current financial crisis having been caused by governments and high flying banking executives, perhaps we should in fact be looking at the source of the issue rather than attacking those who seemingly cannot defend themselves.
I am shocked that anyone could see that there is a subject to be debated here and applaud UKIP for distancing themselves from such a person. Any decision on euthanasia could only be made on the explicit wishes of an individual. A government which promoted enforced euthanasia would need to have a long hard look at the average age in the house of lords. And as for enforced abortion, this offends on a variety of levels. I know various people born with disabilities, several of which are highly educated. Perhaps Mr Clark would like to explain how these people who burden society were able to obtain academic accolades which far surpass most of us, including him in certain circumstances. In response to the comment above as to the fact that many healthy babies are aborted daily, whilst this may be the image that is shown in the media, this by no means can be used as a platform to enforce this on any woman. If a woman chooses to end a pregnancy (without any form of coercion from family or professionals) then fine, but the repercussions of coercion are severe and long term, and often not discussed. Finally, with the current financial crisis having been caused by governments and high flying banking executives, perhaps we should in fact be looking at the source of the issue rather than attacking those who seemingly cannot defend themselves. Hbillinghurst

7:43pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Algeria Touchshriek says...

I have no problem whatsoever with the routine sterilization or vasectomies of some people who really should not be breeding in polite society. And that is "re-fashioning" nature to some degree and one step closer to eugenics.
I have no problem whatsoever with the routine sterilization or vasectomies of some people who really should not be breeding in polite society. And that is "re-fashioning" nature to some degree and one step closer to eugenics. Algeria Touchshriek

8:10pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Mr Sworld says...

Pity it didnt happen to you. What an idiotic statement, just proves what a troll you are.
Pity it didnt happen to you. What an idiotic statement, just proves what a troll you are. Mr Sworld

10:51pm Fri 21 Dec 12

pperrin says...

As has been noted in other comments - but not added to the 'article'. The candidate in question was immediately suspended from being a UKIP candidate.

However, the issues he raises do, indeed, need to be debated in public - as they are *already* effectively stansdard practice in the NHS.

The presure to abort 'diabled' babies
http://www.lifesiten
ews.com/news/parents
-pregnant-with-downs
-disabled-children-n
eed-our-support-agai
nst-abor

And the hastening of the death of the elderly has been mentioned with the 'Liverpool pathway' with hospitals being paid BONUSES for the practice.
As has been noted in other comments - but not added to the 'article'. The candidate in question was immediately suspended from being a UKIP candidate. However, the issues he raises do, indeed, need to be debated in public - as they are *already* effectively stansdard practice in the NHS. The presure to abort 'diabled' babies http://www.lifesiten ews.com/news/parents -pregnant-with-downs -disabled-children-n eed-our-support-agai nst-abor And the hastening of the death of the elderly has been mentioned with the 'Liverpool pathway' with hospitals being paid BONUSES for the practice. pperrin

9:41am Sat 22 Dec 12

lordenglandofsussex says...

C. French wrote:
UKIP reject the abhorrent views expressed in the personal manifesto of Mr Geoffrey Clark, a candidate in the local elections. The party was not aware of these views when it allowed him to stand under our name.

We can confirm that Mr Clark has been formally suspended as a UKIP candidate and will not be standing for the party again.

We would like to apologise to anyone who has suffered distress as a result of this matter.

I trust The Argus will update its report accordingly.

Chris French
Chairman
UKIP Mid Sussex
As a UKIP supporter I am suspicious of this whole episode and I believe that this was genuine attempt to smear the party by outside forces.

I will not name any party but I believe that it is due too UKIP's growing support. The candidate who was suspended should be investigated further because I'm certain that he was never a genuine candidate in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]C. French[/bold] wrote: UKIP reject the abhorrent views expressed in the personal manifesto of Mr Geoffrey Clark, a candidate in the local elections. The party was not aware of these views when it allowed him to stand under our name. We can confirm that Mr Clark has been formally suspended as a UKIP candidate and will not be standing for the party again. We would like to apologise to anyone who has suffered distress as a result of this matter. I trust The Argus will update its report accordingly. Chris French Chairman UKIP Mid Sussex[/p][/quote]As a UKIP supporter I am suspicious of this whole episode and I believe that this was genuine attempt to smear the party by outside forces. I will not name any party but I believe that it is due too UKIP's growing support. The candidate who was suspended should be investigated further because I'm certain that he was never a genuine candidate in the first place. lordenglandofsussex

10:29am Sat 22 Dec 12

Cave Johnson says...

First off i think you'll find children and babies are never aborted. Foetuses are aborted.

Whilst this would-be politicians comments are repugnant do remember that he represented a very small party with no chance of any power. He can think what he likes but it would never ever become law.
First off i think you'll find children and babies are never aborted. Foetuses are aborted. Whilst this would-be politicians comments are repugnant do remember that he represented a very small party with no chance of any power. He can think what he likes but it would never ever become law. Cave Johnson

11:48am Sat 22 Dec 12

lordenglandofsussex says...

Cave Johnson wrote:
First off i think you'll find children and babies are never aborted. Foetuses are aborted.

Whilst this would-be politicians comments are repugnant do remember that he represented a very small party with no chance of any power. He can think what he likes but it would never ever become law.
UKIP may not form a majority government (in this decade) but the support is growing fast.

In another ten years, it may become the second biggest party in the country by replacing the Tory scum party.

The scurge of Labour will continue but hopefully they too will become extinct someday.
[quote][p][bold]Cave Johnson[/bold] wrote: First off i think you'll find children and babies are never aborted. Foetuses are aborted. Whilst this would-be politicians comments are repugnant do remember that he represented a very small party with no chance of any power. He can think what he likes but it would never ever become law.[/p][/quote]UKIP may not form a majority government (in this decade) but the support is growing fast. In another ten years, it may become the second biggest party in the country by replacing the Tory scum party. The scurge of Labour will continue but hopefully they too will become extinct someday. lordenglandofsussex

2:42pm Sat 22 Dec 12

THERIGHT2LIVE says...

DISGUSTING!!!!!!

Who ever in their right mind would ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions?!?!
And how many times do the medics get it wrong???

Abortion should be personal choice by personal circumstances not scumbags thinking that not giving them the Right to Live will save on National Debt!

This cant ever be discussed or debated about as its inhumane and totally out if order!
DISGUSTING!!!!!! Who ever in their right mind would ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions?!?! And how many times do the medics get it wrong??? Abortion should be personal choice by personal circumstances not scumbags thinking that not giving them the Right to Live will save on National Debt! This cant ever be discussed or debated about as its inhumane and totally out if order! THERIGHT2LIVE

7:14pm Sat 22 Dec 12

Cave Johnson says...

THERIGHT2LIVE wrote:
DISGUSTING!!!!!!

Who ever in their right mind would ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions?!?!
And how many times do the medics get it wrong???

Abortion should be personal choice by personal circumstances not scumbags thinking that not giving them the Right to Live will save on National Debt!

This cant ever be discussed or debated about as its inhumane and totally out if order!
Whoa back up there!

The article is about comments made by a politician about terminating feotuses that may have Downes Syndrome etc. We know that and the majority find it repugnant. But to say who would 'ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions' is way off the mark and not what we are talking about. There are many conditions where a feotus may have to be termintated where it may prove harmful to the mother, or there is a significant risk to the baby. You rant implies all of them should be born even if it would kill the mother. But then you are using a shared account with the password shared by many, which breaks the Argus rules i believe.

And in any case there should never be any subject that cannot ever be discussed, and in fact you are discussing it now along with the rest of us.
[quote][p][bold]THERIGHT2LIVE[/bold] wrote: DISGUSTING!!!!!! Who ever in their right mind would ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions?!?! And how many times do the medics get it wrong??? Abortion should be personal choice by personal circumstances not scumbags thinking that not giving them the Right to Live will save on National Debt! This cant ever be discussed or debated about as its inhumane and totally out if order![/p][/quote]Whoa back up there! The article is about comments made by a politician about terminating feotuses that may have Downes Syndrome etc. We know that and the majority find it repugnant. But to say who would 'ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions' is way off the mark and not what we are talking about. There are many conditions where a feotus may have to be termintated where it may prove harmful to the mother, or there is a significant risk to the baby. You rant implies all of them should be born even if it would kill the mother. But then you are using a shared account with the password shared by many, which breaks the Argus rules i believe. And in any case there should never be any subject that cannot ever be discussed, and in fact you are discussing it now along with the rest of us. Cave Johnson

11:46pm Sat 22 Dec 12

THERIGHT2LIVE says...

It actually isnt used by many there is only one user on this account and when did i ever say that all foetuses even if harmful to their mother should not he aborted!
Yes i am discussing it in response to pig headed comments pro abortion of foetuses with Downs and SB!
Unless you have a child with a condition and can see what amazing lives they can still live, then you dont have a clue!
What we are fighting against is "compulsory abortion"!
If a mothers life is in danger then its that mothers freedom of chouce as to what she wants to do about her unbirn child!
We arent the bad guys here, we are the ones sticking up for our children who if people like Clark had any say, or if we were in a vunerable position and being called riff raff and being told our babies would be a burden, wouldnt be here now!
This whole debate is wromg on so many levels and we have to speak out to protect the rights of foetuses, if their parents want to, to have the right to live!
The NHS, politicians anyone else who thinks that this is actually a good idea and something to even consider being allowed, will have a fight on their hands!
You only have to l
It actually isnt used by many there is only one user on this account and when did i ever say that all foetuses even if harmful to their mother should not he aborted! Yes i am discussing it in response to pig headed comments pro abortion of foetuses with Downs and SB! Unless you have a child with a condition and can see what amazing lives they can still live, then you dont have a clue! What we are fighting against is "compulsory abortion"! If a mothers life is in danger then its that mothers freedom of chouce as to what she wants to do about her unbirn child! We arent the bad guys here, we are the ones sticking up for our children who if people like Clark had any say, or if we were in a vunerable position and being called riff raff and being told our babies would be a burden, wouldnt be here now! This whole debate is wromg on so many levels and we have to speak out to protect the rights of foetuses, if their parents want to, to have the right to live! The NHS, politicians anyone else who thinks that this is actually a good idea and something to even consider being allowed, will have a fight on their hands! You only have to l THERIGHT2LIVE

11:47pm Sat 22 Dec 12

THERIGHT2LIVE says...

look at our facebook page to see how amazing our kids are!
look at our facebook page to see how amazing our kids are! THERIGHT2LIVE

11:49pm Sat 22 Dec 12

THERIGHT2LIVE says...

It all cones down to the parents choice and no one in the world should ever consider taking that away from them!
It all cones down to the parents choice and no one in the world should ever consider taking that away from them! THERIGHT2LIVE

11:56pm Sat 22 Dec 12

THERIGHT2LIVE says...

Just want to add that, that wasnt a threat i meant a fight in general by the public views!
Just want to add that, that wasnt a threat i meant a fight in general by the public views! THERIGHT2LIVE

12:53am Sun 23 Dec 12

Cave Johnson says...

You said

'Who ever in their right mind would ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions?!?!'

So by saying no one should abort a feotus for medical conditions you include by default ALL medical conditions. You should have been more specific. As your comment stands you have implied any medical conditions. That is what you wrote. You may not have meant it, but it's your words.

You also mention on the facebook page that the login details are available for anyone who wants them, so you lied there. Unless you went back and edited the post.

Also by stating that your opinion doesn't matter unless you have had a child with a problem you are showing your ignorance.I haven't had a child like that, but i do have a brother like that. So how about you cut out the rubbish. That way people are more likely to listen to you.
You said 'Who ever in their right mind would ever discuss aborting foetuses found to have medical conditions?!?!' So by saying no one should abort a feotus for medical conditions you include by default ALL medical conditions. You should have been more specific. As your comment stands you have implied any medical conditions. That is what you wrote. You may not have meant it, but it's your words. You also mention on the facebook page that the login details are available for anyone who wants them, so you lied there. Unless you went back and edited the post. Also by stating that your opinion doesn't matter unless you have had a child with a problem you are showing your ignorance.I haven't had a child like that, but i do have a brother like that. So how about you cut out the rubbish. That way people are more likely to listen to you. Cave Johnson

9:47am Sun 23 Dec 12

THERIGHT2LIVE says...

you are clearly twisting what i said and for some reason looking for an argument with me so this conversation ends here!
you are clearly twisting what i said and for some reason looking for an argument with me so this conversation ends here! THERIGHT2LIVE

Comments are closed on this article.

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