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Disability rights group condemns forced abortion ruling as ‘wholly wrong’

Disability Rights UK has condemned Justice Lieven’s ruling attempting to force an abortion on a woman with a learning disability, calling the decision “wholly wrong”.

The disability charity condemned the decision saying it was “in contravention of the UN Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities.”

“In our view, the issue here is to ensure that the woman concerned receives sufficient support to help her with her parenting role.”

This denunciation came during international outcry after an NHS Trust successfully brought a court case against a patient with a learning disability, resulting in the Court of Protection ruling that this woman must have an abortion against her will.

The woman is said to have a “moderately severe” learning disability, leaving her with the mental age of a six to nine year old.

Three Court of Appeal judges since ruled that doctors must not perform an abortion on this woman. The judges said that the circumstances of this case were unique and that their reasons for overturning this decision would be released at a later date.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK said: “Disability Rights UK are absolutely correct to condemn this ruling.”

“This decision made by the judge speaks volumes about the attitudes and ignorance of not only the judge but also the NHS Trust both to people with learning disabilities and children in general.”

“As Disability Rights UK suggest, the response  to this woman’s situation should be support, not abortion.”

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

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