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Law refuses to acknowledge tragic death of unborn baby in car crash

The aftermath of the collision on the B3151/Grace’s parents Jackie and Tom Luxton (Image:SomersetLive)

A mother from Somerset who tragically lost her child in a car crash has had her case put directly before the Prime Minister. Jackie Luxon was 26 weeks pregnant when she was involved in a serious car crash, which resulted in the death of her unborn child, Grace.

The driver of the other vehicle was later found guilty of dangerous driving, but only the injuries of Jackie and her 3 year old daughter (who was also in the car) were relevant to the case. Her unborn child, Grace, had no recognition in law so her tragic death could not be taken into account.

The couple discovered that the Road Traffic Act 1988 does not recognise an unborn baby (of 24 weeks or more gestation) as a person.

Grace’s parents now want the law changed so that there is some recognition of the loss of their daughter’s life.

Grace’s mother, Jackie said: “My heart was torn to pieces when we were informed that my baby girl no longer showed signs of life. It’s heartbreaking that no prosecution can be brought for the loss of her life. We hope that consideration is made for changes to this law going forward.”

James Heappey, Conservative MP for Wells, put this case to the Prime Minister on the 22nd May. He explained:

The baby, Grace, got no justice at all. I understand from the police and stillbirth support groups that the Luxon’s tragic experience is, sadly, far from unique. Will the Prime Minister look again at the Road Traffic Act 1988 so that those who cause death to viable babies over 24 weeks’ gestation through dangerous driving can be held responsible for these tragic losses of life?

This is an important question and it is a great sadness that Grace’s life is not taken into account at all simply because she is in the womb. As the MP pointed out, this sort of case is “far from unique”.

Parents deserve to have their unborn children recognised under the law, as do the unborn children themselves. Obviously no change in the law could bring Grace back, but it would at least acknowledge that she existed, that she has worth and that her life meant something.

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.

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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: 
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If you live outside Northern Ireland: 
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