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We can’t legalise assisted dying until disabled lives are respected and valued

Heidi Crowter is 26 years old, married last year and is full of life. She loves music and follows Liverpool Football Club. Yet one thing chips away at her positivity: the law on abortion that permits termination of human beings such as her up to the point of birth simply because they have Down’s syndrome. “It makes me feel like I’m not as valuable as anyone else. It makes me feel like I shouldn’t be here,” she says.

She is right to feel distressed since this is clearly discriminatory. Late abortions on grounds of “severe foetal abnormality” are permitted also for cleft lips and club feet. Yet last week, Heidi and two others failed to persuade High Court judges that such state-sanctioned stigmatisation was wrong.

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