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Baby with disability born before UK abortion limit for babies with disabilities now thriving

A baby born below the abortion limit for disabled babies in the UK is now three months old and doing well.

Archie Burns was born ten weeks early in August of this year in Pinderfields Hospital Wakefield. Weighing only 2b 12oz and with complex medical issues, he was extremely vulnerable.

Archie’s oesophagus was not connected to his stomach and his stomach was connected to his windpipe. After a series of operations and two weeks in an incubator, and a further nine weeks in the hospital he is now a healthy 7lb baby at home with his mum and dad.

His dad, Chris Burns, said: “Only really now that Archie has grown to a normal birth weight’, we realise just how vulnerable he was when he was born at 2lb 12oz, 10 weeks prematurely back in August”.

Archie will still need some corrective surgeries over the next few years but he should grow to be a perfectly healthy and happy child.

Disability abortion

Abortion in the UK is legal up until birth for a child with a disability. Archie’s medical conditions meant that, even at 30 weeks gestation where he was able to survive outside of the womb and if his parents had wanted, he could have been legally aborted in the UK.

Every year in this country babies are aborted for minor and easily treatable disabilities like cleft lip/palate. The latest abortion statistics reveal that in 2019 seventeen abortions were performed on babies with a cleft lip or palateThree of those taking place between 24 weeks and birth.

According to DoHSC statistics, 75 babies with either a cleft lip or cleft palate as their principal condition were aborted between 2011 and 2018.

Sadly, the figures for cleft lip and palate are likely to be much higher, for example a 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies were aborted with cleft lip and palate in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the DoHSC has only recorded 14 such abortions.

Discriminatory

The discriminatory nature of the disability abortion law in the UK is currently being challenged in the High Court in London. The Court will hear a landmark case against the UK Government over the country’s discriminatory abortion legislation, which singles out babies with disabilities by allowing terminations right through to birth for conditions including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said:

“Heartwarming stories like Archie’s show that inside or outside the womb, a baby is a baby and deserves to be treated with love and care. The appalling discrimination in the law which allows for abortion up until the birth of a child if the child is disabled in any way must end. Babies, inside or outside of the womb, should be protected under the law and not experience lethal discrimination because of it”.

Help stop abortion up to birth for babies with disabilities including Down's syndrome & club foot

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Dear reader

In 2020, the UK Government imposed an extreme abortion regime on Northern Ireland, which included a provision that legalised abortion right up to birth for disabilties including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

A new Bill has been launched at the Northern Ireland assembly that will remove the current provision that allows abortion for ‘severe fetal impairment’.

It is under these grounds in the regulations that babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot can currently be singled out for abortion in Northern Ireland because of their disability and can be aborted right up to birth.

Before the new abortion regime was imposed on Northern Ireland in 2020, disability-selective abortion for conditions such as Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot was not legal and there was a culture of welcoming and supporting people with these disabilities rather than eliminating them.

This is reflected directly in the latest figures (2016) from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, which show that while there were 52 children born with Down’s syndrome in Northern Ireland, in the same year only 1 child from Northern Ireland with Down’s syndrome was aborted in England and Wales. 

This contrasts with the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom where disability-selective abortion has been legal since 1967.

The latest available figures show that 90% of children diagnosed with Down’s syndrome before birth are aborted in England and Wales.

We are, therefore, asking people like you to take 30 seconds of your time and add your support to the campaign to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot in Northern Ireland.

If you live in Northern Ireland: 
Ask your MLAs to vote to stop abortion up to birth for disabilities including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot:

If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
Show your support by signing this petition in support of the Bill:

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