In 1975 South Africa legalised abortion ‘under strict controls’ with criteria including the probability that the baby would be born handicapped, that the baby was conceived in rape or incest or psychological reasons. Different hospitals interpreted ‘psychological’ differently – with some requiring a week of psychiatric observation and others more lax. This led initially to about 600 babies killed per year gradually rising to around 1000 babies in 1996. That year, the government passed legislation to allow ‘abortion on demand’. The number of abortions immediately rose to around 50,000 per year and in subsequent years to around 100,000 per year. The death toll by 2016 was around 1.5 million innocent babies. This legislation had been worded to allow abortion ‘on demand’ until 14 weeks and then for ‘socio-economic reasons’ till 20 weeks (halfway through pregnancy). This latter reason appears to have been put in to soften its passage through parliament. The reality is that every pregnancy affects a person socio-economically and so in reality abortion on demand was legalised till halfway through pregnancy.
In Nazi Germany, the pattern was: Abortion first (for racial criteria); then euthanasia for hard cases asking for it; then euthanasia of the handicapped considered a burden to society; then euthanasia of the weak in labour camps no longer able to work. The Nazi gas chambers were initially designed not for Jews but for handicapped Germans as a cheap & efficient killing method less traumatic for the killers than shooting. Nazi medical practitioners continued their farce of ‘medical selection’ on criteria developed for the euthanasia programme of every Jew who went to the gas chambers. These were the same doctors who has lost their consciences killing the handicapped.
Already infanticide of handicapped infants is legal in Holland. In ancient Greece, Rome, China, the killing by abandonment and exposure of any unwanted baby was legal and widely practiced. Already the legalisation of abortion has led to a drastic increase in baby abandonment in South Africa.
The pattern is likely to follow the same with euthanasia in South Africa. Initially, the lobby pushes for ‘hard cases’, then later tries to broaden the interpretation to widen the criteria. Already, Belgium has authorised a euthanasia for a healthy but depressed woman in her 20s. Holland is considering allowing it without the need for a specific reason.
South Africa has millions of people living with HIV/AIDS, who potentially could be classed as ‘terminally ill’. The death toll from euthanasia, if it becomes legalised on demand could be high.