High time to limit our eugenicist society, says ANN WIDDECOMBE

From 1988 till 1990 there was a concerted effort in Parliament to prevent abortion for Down’s Syndrome. The response sadly was to allow it up to birth itself where previously the upper limit had been 28 weeks.

Concerned also that allowing abortion for disability up to birth could cover conditions such as club foot or cleft palate, the pro-life lobby worked hard to legislate to have the disability specified on the form but again failed in a tied vote. Now, at last, another effort is being made, albeit outside Parliament, to have the law changed. 

It is being spearheaded by two women, one of whom has Down’s and another who has a child with the condition. 

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Mum of Down’s syndrome Belfast boy urges PM not to allow abortions over condition

The mother of a seven-year-old Belfast boy with Down’s syndrome has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson not to introduce abortion for babies with the condition here.

Nicola Woods (34) is one of more than 1,000 people who have signed an open letter to Mr Johnson as new figures show there were 710 late-term abortions for Down’s syndrome in England and Wales over the last 10 years.

Figures from the Department of Health in Northern Ireland show that while 52 children with Down’s syndrome were born in 2016, in the same year only one child from here with the condition was aborted in England and Wales.

The letter has been backed by the Don’t Screen Us Out community, a coalition of advocacy groups, who are concerned about the scope of the Northern Ireland regulations and the impact on families with Down’s syndrome children.

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The disturbing treatment of a pro-life student midwife

A student midwife was in the news last week after her involvement with a pro-life student society led to her fitness to practise being investigated. After being suspended from her hospital placements for almost four months, Julia Rynkiewicz was cleared of any wrongdoing and has now lodged a formal complaint with the University of Nottingham about her treatment during the process.

While you might have thought that a deep care for unborn children would be in a midwife’s job description, apparently such views can now imperil a career in delivering babies into the world. Midwives and other medical professionals are of course subject to regulation and are expected to uphold professional standards, but the prospect of a student’s fitness to practice being called into question for merely being publicly associated with a pro-life student group is chilling.

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Unborn babies MAY feel pain before the 24-week abortion limit, scientists say

Unborn babies may be able to feel pain before reaching 24 weeks, say scientists – meaning they could suffer as they are being aborted.

Until now, the consensus of medical opinion has been that foetuses cannot feel pain before 24 weeks’ gestation, after which abortion is illegal in Britain except in special cases.

But two medical researchers, including a ‘pro-choice’ British pain expert who used to think there was no chance foetuses could feel pain that early, say recent studies strongly suggest the assumption is incorrect.

The studies indicate unborn babies might be able to feel ‘something like pain’ as early as 13 weeks, they say.

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