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.

Click here to read the full article

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.

Click here to read the full article

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.

Click here to read the full article

Melanie McDonagh: I fear that Labour’s abortion law plans could lead us to a very dark place

Amid all the eye-catching largesse of Labour’s manifesto — free broadband for all, the council house-building programme, and renationalisations — its radical proposals on abortion seem to have slipped through unnoticed.

However, it is vital we examine the party’s declaration that ‘we will uphold women’s reproductive rights and decriminalise abortions’. Decriminalising abortion would mean you could have one for any reason; you wouldn’t even be asked why you wanted it.

Right To Life campaigners say the plan has the potential to allow unlimited abortions right up to birth, well beyond the present 24-week limit, which is already around twice the average time limit on abortions in Europe.

Click here to read the full article