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Inside the raging war between abortion rights and Down's syndrome discrimination

1 11 5
24.09.2021

Heidi Crowter and Maire-Lea Wilson walk out from the Royal Courts of Justice, defeated but with their heads held high. After months of campaigning, September has brought a closed on the second act of their battle to reshape abortion law.

The two women are part of a network that champions the rights of people with disabilities called “Don’t Screen Us Out”. They initiated a case against the Government over current abortion law, which allows women to terminate their pregnancy up to the point of birth for Down’s syndrome cases. The High Court has ruled against them.

In the UK, the limit time for abortion is 24 weeks into pregnancy. But under the Abortion Act 1967, where there are “fetal anomalies” such as Down’s syndrome, that time frame is extended. For Heidi and Maire, this is discrimination towards people with disabilities and poses an existential threat to their very existence.

“This judgment effectively condones discrimination and communicates very strongly that my two children are not of equal value. And they should be,” says Maire. Maire, 33, has two boys, a five and a two years old. The youngest, Aidan, has Down’s syndrome.

According to the High Court, there were 275 abortions carried out after the 24 week mark........

© City A.M.


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