This report appeared in the Daily Telegraph today.
It is a positive report in so many ways, as it demonstrates what we already know: pressure from activists (you see, pressure politics DOES work!!) has actually forced the Department of Health into a climbdown (though whether it will find its way to Parliament is a different matter).
I have met the two health officials involved in rewriting the explanatory notes, and they were genuinely concerned at the feeling amongst Deaf people on this clause, and relating it to deafness. They were open and willing to learn, and I think they deserve credit for being open to the case we at Stop Eugenics have been putting to them.
But the Telegraph heading is actually quite a disappointment as far as I am concerned. We are not out to create deaf babies, how many times do we have to make this clear before the message gets through? Maybe it probably never will, but it does show that, in spite of what the media write, it is still possible to influence change in spite of all the forces that seem to be ranged against you.
It does not stop here, however. It is only the explanatory note that refers to deafness that is subject to a suggested amendement; it won’t stop the clause proper.
There is still work to be done, particularly because Baroness Deech made that statement in the Lords that the clause 14/4/9 applies to deaf people. And the clause tries to legalise something that the state is best kept out of anyway cos there are far too many scenarios, possibilities, issues, that can’t be legislated for and are best made privately.