I have no love for international governmental agencies such as the International Criminal Court. But since New Zealand has apparently subjected itself to the ICC, I cannot help getting a certain amount of pleasure out of this spectacle:
Apparently the "Rome Statute," a part of the code the ICC enforces, prohibits "the persecution of an identifiable part of the civilian population." The Rome Statute also refers to deliberate policies of "birth prevention" aimed against a portion of the civilian population as relevant to the crime of genocide (but see more on that below).
An activist group representing the interests of people with Down Syndrome and another group representing people with spina bifida have brought a formal complaint against the government of New Zealand, referring to the Rome Statute, for the government's blatantly eugenic prenatal screening program. According to the complaint, the government has expressly said in its goals that the intent of the program is to prevent the births of people with Down Syndrome, spina bifida, and some other disabilities.
The ICC prosecutor is evidently taking this seriously enough not to toss it out ab initio. My guess is that the rub will come in this: While the "persecution" portion of the Rome Statute refers more generally to "identifiable groups" of the population, the "birth prevention" section (on genocide) refers only to attempts to destroy a "national, ethnical, racial or religious group." Presumably this will be used as an argument that a deliberate and unabashed attempt to wipe out people with Down Syndrom and spina bifida by killing them before they are born doesn't count.
Still, it's worth a try. I can only applaud the efforts of the groups who have brought the complaint. If New Zealand is hoist with the petard of international governance when it comes to disgusting governmental eugenics programs, I won't be crying.
HT: Secondhand Smoke