Photo credit: Chris Sternal-Johnson (CC-By-2.0)
Photo credit: Chris Sternal-Johnson (CC-By-2.0)

(Washington, DC) Today the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the education and research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, endorsed the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care.  The Declaration is a global statement of medical practitioners calling for an end to use of the term “incompatible with life” to describe unborn children who may have a life-limiting condition. This global initiative will be launched Wednesday, March 11, at the United Nations in Geneva.

The statement stresses that the phrase “incompatible with life” is a medically inaccurate term that does not constitute a medical diagnosis. Instead, the term reflects a biased judgment on the value of a human life, as CLI Associate Scholar Nora Sullivan has noted. Use of the term encourages prenatal discrimination based on genetics and disability, against which CLI Vice President and Research Director Dr. David Prentice recently testified.

“As a research institute that affirms life, the Charlotte Lozier Institute is proud to endorse the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care,” Prentice said. “We urge other medical practitioners and research professionals, as well as disability rights activists and groups for life and against discrimination to sign this important Declaration.”

The Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care reads:

As medical practitioners and researchers, we declare that the term “incompatible with life” is not a medical diagnosis and should not be used when describing unborn children who may have a life-limiting condition.

We acknowledge that there exists no medical necessity to terminate such pregnancies in an otherwise healthy mother.

We fully support the development of perinatal hospice services for families who are told that their unborn child may not live for very long in the womb or after birth.

More information on the Geneva Declaration on Perinatal Care can be found here.

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