Winning hearts and minds around the world: Heidi Crowter featured in Australian media

The fight of a 24-year-old woman with Down’s syndrome against the UK’s discriminatory abortion law continues to receive international attention, and was this week featured in Australian media.

Heidi Crowter has launched a landmark case against the UK Government over current legislation that singles out babies with disabilities, allowing abortion right through to birth for conditions including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot.

Last week, she urged the Northern Ireland Assembly to reject the same “hurtful and offensive” laws in Northern Ireland.

Heidi was speaking out against the UK Government’s decision to impose the same discriminatory abortion laws on Northern Ireland, something it was not required to do when it voted to impose an extreme abortion regime on the province last year.

The new regime, which also allows de facto abortion for any reason up to 24-weeks, came into force on 31 March.

In response to the Government’s actions, Heidi Crowter has written to politicians in Northern Ireland saying:

“Boris Johnson’s Government did not have to introduce abortion for babies with Down’s syndrome up to birth to Northern Ireland. They chose to do this.

“That’s both hurtful and offensive. My life has as much value as anyone else’s.

“I am asking all MLA’s (Members of the Legislative Assembly) to reject Westminster’s regulations – please don’t vote for more discrimination against people like me.

“Do not make the mistake which was made in Great Britain in allowing discrimination against people like me just because we happen to have Down’s syndrome.

“Please let Northern Ireland continue to be a country where disabled people are valued.

“Please do not let a law come into practice which will end lives on the basis of disability and stop people like me coming into the world.”

Drawing attention to Hedi’s case, Sky News host Chris Kenny said: “A touching, brave and salient reminder about people living with disabilities has arisen during the current debate about abortion in Northern Ireland.”

He then proceeded to share a channel 5 interview of Heidi, which received over 4 million views, describing it as a “touching and powerful” address.

“Whatever you think of the abortion issue, I wanted to show you that,” he added.

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.

She has been joined in her legal fight against disability discrimination by Máire, mother to Aidan who has Down’s syndrome.

Máire said: “I have two incredible sons, and value them equally, so I was shocked to discover that the law doesn’t.”

Her campaign has been shared tens of thousands of times on social media with people adding #ImWithHeidi to their posts.

Scottish mothers join growing support for legal challenge to UK’s discriminatory abortion law

Mothers of children born with Down’s syndrome have spoken out in horror over the UK’s discriminatory law, which singles out babies with the condition and allows abortion up to birth.

Currently abortion is available up to birth in England, Wales and Scotland, if the baby has a disability – including Down’s syndrome, cleft lip and club foot. This is compared to a 24 week time limit for babies without a disability. 

Thousands of people are now supporting Heidi Crowter, a young woman with Down’s syndrome, as she launches a legal challenge against the UK Government to prevent them from singling out disabled babies for abortion.

Stacey Corrigan, mother to six-year-old Daniel who has Down’s syndrome, told the Daily Record she is “horrified” at the current abortion law.

She said: “How can that be legal? It’s like murder…

“There are premature babies who are born at 25 weeks and survive and grow to be healthy and happy, yet if your baby has Down’s syndrome it’s ok to terminate immediately before giving birth. It is just wrong.”

Stacey and her fiancé Colin Murray say Daniel is the best thing to ever happen to them and are supporting Heidi Crowter’s legal challenge.

Stacey added: “Daniel is an amazing wee boy. He goes to school, loves all the same things every other kid loves, he’s happy and funny. To think that someone could be in a position where they have carried a child like Daniel and are offered the chance to terminate so far on is just horrifying.”

Brenda Cook, whose 12-year-old daughter Brooke Cormack-Cook has the condition, says the law is archaic and needs to change immediately.

She said: “I think it’s quite shocking. There are some disabilities which aren’t visible or don’t get diagnosed until the child is older, so where do you draw the line? It’s something you would expect from the fifties or sixties. It’s out of date and it needs to be changed.

“Brooke is a wonderful wee girl. She loves life and is the centre of my world. I find it totally offensive as the mother of a child with Down’s syndrome that this is still legal. It’s disgusting and cruel to suggest that our children are not good enough for this earth.”

Máire Brady, mother to nine-month-old Aidan who has Down’s syndrome, says the “the law is not fit for purpose; worse than that, it is discriminatory, inflammatory and barbaric.”

In a blog post addressed to the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, she adds: “By not addressing this issue [the discriminatory abortion law] properly, you are saying my beautiful baby boy, Aidan, is worth less than his brother. That he is not as valuable. By shutting down debate under the guise of women’s choices, you are taking away the voice of people like my son, and you are disenfranchising them.

“Giving him equal rights to his brother is not eroding women’s choices, it’s just giving him equal rights. He is Aidan and he is equally worthy. For these reasons, I’m with Heidi.”

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 3,500,000 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.

In less than a week, over £20,000 has been raised to help towards the cost of her legal fees.