A cross-party group of MPs, from across the three biggest political parties, have come together to celebrate the contribution people with Down’s syndrome bring to communities, families, workplaces and society at large.
An Early Day Motion commemorating World Down’s syndrome Awareness Month, launched by pro-life MP Dr Lisa Cameron, has now received a number of signatories, with more expected before the month ends.
It comes ahead of a short speech she’ll give about Down’s syndrome Awareness Month in the House of Commons on Thursday and amid a legal challenge against the UK’s discriminatory abortion law, which allows Down’s syndrome termination right up to birth.
Heidi’s landmark case
Earlier this year, disability rights campaigner Heidi Crowter launched a landmark case against the UK Government over current abortion legislation that singles out babies with disabilities for on-demand abortions – allowing abortion right through to birth for conditions including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.
Heidi’s legal challenge has generated widespread support from those with first-hand experience of Down’s syndrome, pro-life campaigners, disability advocates and more.
Over 5,000,000 people have watched Heidi tell Channel 5 the current law is “deeply offensive” and many more have seen her tell the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme that the current law makes her feel “unloved and unwanted”.
Heidi’s campaign has been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, with people adding #ImWithHeidi to their posts.
She has now been joined in her legal fight against discriminatory disability-selective abortion by Máire Lea-Wilson, whose one-year-old son, Aidan, has Down’s syndrome.
Máire said she was encouraged in hospital to abort Aidan when a scan at 34-weeks revealed he had the condition.
Recalling her experience, she told Sky News: “I felt like the assumption was that we would abort our baby.”
The mother of two added: “I have two sons and I love and value them equally and I think it seems really wrong that the law doesn’t value them equally.”