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Landmark Down’s syndrome case will be heard by the Court of Appeal

Landmark Down’s syndrome case will be heard by the Court of Appeal
ET staff writer
ET staff writer
08 April, 2022 1 min read

Christian group CARE has welcomed news that a landmark case challenging discrimination in abortion law will be heard in England’s Court of Appeal.

Judges announced that they will hear a case brought by Heidi Crowter, a 26-year-old woman from Coventry who has Down’s syndrome, after a previous challenge was rejected in the High Court.

Crowter and another woman, Máire Lea-Wilson, whose two-year-old son Aidan has Down’s syndrome, is challenging a ‘discriminatory’ clause permitting abortion up to term in cases of disability.

Heidi Crowter is a self-advocate who has campaigned for the last five years for equal treatment for those with Down’s syndrome in all areas of life. Máire Lea-Wilson was placed under pressure to have an abortion when a 34-week scan revealed her son had Down’s syndrome.

Heidi and her team have crowdfunded over £125,000 for the case.

Under the current law in England, Wales, and Scotland, there is a general 24-week time limit for abortion, but if the baby has a disability, including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip, or club foot, abortion is legal right up to birth.

Heidi Crowter said, ‘The law says that babies shouldn’t be aborted up to birth, but if a baby is found to have Down’s syndrome, it can be aborted up until birth. This is the current law in the UK and I think it’s not fair.’

Ross Hendry, CEO charity CARE, said, ‘We’re delighted that Heidi’s landmark case will be heard in the Court of Appeal.

‘Heidi is an inspirational campaigner who speaks for a huge number of people in the UK. We hope that judges are persuaded by her arguments.’

ET staff writer
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