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UK High Court To Rule On ‘Unfair’ Down’s Syndrome Abortion Law

by : Julia Banim on : 06 May 2021 13:27
UK High Court To Rule On 'Unfair' Down's Syndrome Abortion LawHeidi Crowter/Facebook/CrowdJustice

The High Court is set to rule on the ‘unfair’ abortion law that means babies with Down’s Syndrome can be aborted right up until the point of their birth.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recently stated that the UK should change its abortion legislation to ensure that those with disabilities are not discriminated against. However, at the time of writing, the law has still yet to be changed.

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Now, campaigners Heidi Carter and Máire Lea-Wilson are challenging the government over the current legislation, with the case due to be heard before the High Court on July 6-7.

Find out more about this campaign in the following clip:

On a fundraising page set up to raise legal funds, Heidi, who herself has Down’s Syndrome, wrote:

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Hi! I am Heidi, I am 24. I live a very happy, fun and fulfilled life.

At the moment in the UK, babies can be aborted right up to birth if they are considered to be ‘seriously handicapped’. They include me in that definition of being seriously handicapped – just because I have an extra chromosome! Can you believe that?

What it says to me is that my life just isn’t as valuable as others, and I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s downright discrimination!

Disability campaigner Heidi Crowter on her wedding dayHeidi Crowter - Living the Dream/Facebook

Heidi, who campaigns under her maiden name Heidi Crowter, has previously written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock stating that all non-fatal disabilities should have the standard 24-week abortion limit as any non-disabled baby.

Máire, 32, told BBC News that she felt pressured to have an abortion after a 34-week scan revealed her unborn son had Down’s syndrome, stating:

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I have two sons that I love and value equally, but the law does not value them equally. My motivation for taking this joint legal action with Heidi has always been simple. As a mother, I will do all that I can to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of my son, Aidan.

Máire went on to emphasise that this case isn’t about ‘the rights or wrongs of abortion’ and is specifically about ‘removing a specific instance of inequality of the law’.

You can find out more about this cause and show your support here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Abortion Law, disability, Down's Syndrome, Legal, UK

Credits

CrowdJustice and 1 other
  1. CrowdJustice

    Downright discrimination: stop the govt singling out disabled babies

  2. 5NEWS/YouTube

    Down's syndrome: Campaign to change "discriminatory" abortion law in UK | 5 News