Woman with Down’s Syndrome loses court challenge over abortion law

Heidi Crowter (middle) with Maire Lea-Wilson (right) speaking to the media outside the High Court in London where they lost a High Court challenge against the Government over legislation which allows the abortion of babies with the condition up until birth. Picture date: Thursday September 23, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS DownsSyndrome . Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA WirePicture date: Thursday September 23, 2021. PA Photo.

Heidi Crowter (middle) with Maire Lea-Wilson (right) speaking to the media outside the High Court (Picture: PA)

A woman with Down’s syndrome has lost a Court of Appeal challenge over legislation which allows the abortion of babies with the condition up until birth.

Heidi Crowter, 27, from Coventry, brought legal action against the Department of Health and Social Care in the hope of removing a section of the Abortion Act she believes to be an ‘instance of inequality’.

Judges ruled last September that the legislation is not unlawful and aims to strike a balance between the rights of the unborn child and of women.

The case was reconsidered by the Court of Appeal at a hearing in July.

In England, Wales and Scotland, there is a 24-week time limit on having an abortion.

But the law allows terminations up until birth if there is ‘a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped’, which includes Down’s syndrome.

Jason Coppell KC, representing Ms Crowter and Maire Lea-Wilson, the mother of Aidan, a young boy with Down’s syndrome, told the court in July: ‘Its effect is to stereotype life as a disabled, or seriously handicapped, person as not worth living and certainly as having less value than life as an able-bodied person, thereby impacting on the feelings of self-worth and self-confidence of disabled persons, such as Ms Crowter.’

He said the language used in the Act is ‘outmoded’ and considered by some to be offensive and unacceptable.

But, in a ruling on Friday, three senior judges dismissed the appeal.

Heidi Crowter is comforted by her mother Liz outside the High Court in London (Picture: PA)

Supporters outside the Royal Courts of Justice (Picture: PA)

Beth Costerton, eight, with her mother Sarah …read more

Source:: Metro News

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