Woman with Down’s Syndrome Loses UK Abortion Law Case

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Woman with Down’s Syndrome Loses UK Abortion Law Case


A woman with Down’s syndrome who sued Sajid Javid over Britain’s abortion law has lost her High Court case.

Heidi Crowter, who brought the case alongside Máire Lea-Wilson, whose son Aidan has Down’s syndrome, argued that allowing terminations of pregnancy until birth if the fetus has Down’s syndrome discriminates and stigmatizes people with disabilities. .

The trio, from Brentford, west London, challenged Javid over the 1967 abortion law which sets a 24 week deadline for abortions, unless there is a ” substantial risk ”that the child will be“ severely disabled ”.

They argued that it interferes with the right to privacy in Article 8 (1) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), including the decision to become a parent or not and “The rights to dignity, autonomy and personal development of the three applicants”.

Jason Coppel QC, representing the plaintiffs, told the High Court in London in July that Down’s syndrome was the main justification for “late abortions” justified under the 1967 Abortion Act.

He said that Crowter, who has his own apartment, recently got married and pursued education up to NVQ level, “has been abused because of his disability and believes the existence of a law allowing abortion until birth for babies with DS (Down’s syndrome) is a cultural contributory cause of this type of abuse ”.

Lea-Wilson, whose son Aidan was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome at 35 weeks gestation in 2019, had been offered an abortion on several occasions, Coppel said.

He said the current law “perpetuates and reinforces negative cultural stereotypes to the detriment of people with disabilities, such as the first (Crowter) and third (Aidan) applicants”.

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