POWERLIFTER Dan McGauley, from Colchester, Essex, is aiming to pick up yet another gold medal, although medics said that he would achieve nothing in life.
The 31-year-old is world champ in his weight category and three-times gold medallist at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Federation Championships.
Dan lives with Down’s syndrome, autism, partial deafness and has had open-heart surgery twice.
This is a great story and there are plenty of similar stories of achievement by people with Down’s, often in cases where doctors issued similarly gloomy prognoses because of what has been described by the World Health Organisation as a ‘severe birth defect’.
Of course, none of these achievements would be possible without the essential preliminary of actually being born, which sadly is being denied to increasing numbers of Down’s people; indeed, in an apparent effort to eliminate even more, Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) testing has been introduced, even though we already abort over 90 per cent of such pregnancies, drastically reducing the numbers born with Down’s.
If we continue in this direction of travel we could, like Iceland, manage to achieve no achievers at all, in what one UN panel described as pre-natal ‘genocide’.
At present there is a campaign to bring disability abortion, which can be carried out up to birth, in line with other abortions, for which the time limit is 24 weeks. Express columnist Ann Widdecombe called this ‘inhuman law . . . cruel and unjust’, asking, ‘What is the difference between a child a few hours before and a few hours after birth? None, apart from visibility. What is the difference between a baby born prematurely and one of the same age and gestation in the womb? None, apart from visibility.’
Abortion up to birth is the most shocking of all abortions and as Ms Widdecombe observed, ‘visibility’ is the key: only when we see the horror will we be motivated to do something about it. (Although abortion advocates do their best to suppress them, there are pictures available on the internet, but we are choosing not to link to them.) As the campaigner against slavery William Wilberforce said, ‘You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.’
As to Down’s syndrome, it is now considered good manners to refer to people ‘living with’ it rather than simply ‘having’ it. This raises the awkward question of the vast majority with Down’s who will not ‘live with it’ because the rest of society has, apparently, decided that it is more convenient and cheaper to ‘live without it’. Bizarrely, while the language used to describe people with Down’s is considered controversial, the actual killing is not. In fact, however, this simply demonstrates that it is considered so controversial that it must not be mentioned.
Dan McGauley’s mother Judith commented: ‘He has to work twice as hard as able-bodied lifters. We were told by doctors that he’d never make a valuable contribution to society.’ He and other disabled individuals are doing the ‘heavy lifting’ in the battle for life, and are its best ambassadors, because we will never know what anyone can achieve if they are not allowed to be born. In Dan’s case, actions speak louder than words; but if we must speak, let us say, ‘Let them live’.