Advice columnists in Britain are known as "agony aunts" (or uncles). Virginia Ironside is one. Her latest bit of advice has drawn outraged reaction from television viewers who caught her comments on the BBC yesterday. She appeared during a segment called, "Can abortion be a kindness?" Here's the Daily Mail account of her comments:
Miss Ironside said: 'If a baby's going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother.'
She added: 'If I were the mother of a suffering child - I mean a deeply suffering child - I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face... If it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would.'
Disability rights advocates called her pro-eugenics approach "despicable." Even the host seemed stunned:
Programme host Susanna Reid appeared visibly shocked by her comments during the live debate, gasping: 'That's a pretty horrifying thing to say, that you would put a pillow over a suffering child.'
In the past, Ironside has said she believes doctors should not try to save the lives of "very premature babies."