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Ask your MP to support the Abortion (Cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot) Bill

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Ask your MP to support the Abortion
[Cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot] Bill
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 a campaign to protect 
the lives of babies with 

 cleft lip 

 cleft palate 

 club foot 

a campaign to protect the lives of unborn babies with

 cleft lip 

 cleft palate 

 club foot 

The Bill

The Abortion (Cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot) Bill

A cross-party group of MPs from the three largest parties in the UK Parliament, led by Fiona Bruce MP, have come together to bring forward the Abortion (Cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot) Bill.

The Bill will change the law to clarify that cleft palate, cleft lip, and club foot are not grounds for abortion in the UK.

Why

Currently abortion is allowed  up to birth  for babies with disabilities.

This has been interpreted to include cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot, meaning abortion is legal up to birth based solely on a primary diagnosis of one of these conditions.

Official Stats

Official abortion statistics for England and Wales show that abortions are happening on the grounds that a baby has one of these conditions.

Due to underreporting, these figures are likely    significantly higher.  

Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate:

Cleft Lip

75 babies with either cleft lip or cleft palate as their principal condition were aborted between 2011 and 2018. The figures are likely to be much higher – for example a 2013 review by Eurocat showed 157 babies with cleft lip and palate were aborted in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010. However, the Department of Health & Social Care (DoHSC) recorded only 14 such abortions.

Club foot:

While the DoHSC are reluctant to release data on club foot, data reported by Eurocat showed that 205 babies with club foot were aborted in England and Wales between 2006 and 2010.

All of these conditions can be corrected 

Cleft lip, cleft palate and clubfoot can all be corrected by surgery, and corrective therapy for clubfoot is successful for the vast majority of patients.

What are these conditions?

Who do they affect and how can they be treated?

Cleft Lip + Cleft Palate

Cleft lip/cleft palate is defined by the NHS as “a gap or split in the upper lip and/or roof of the mouth (palate). It is present from birth.”

Who does it affect?

1/700 Cleft lip/cleft palate is the most common facial birth defect in the UK, affecting around 1 in every 700 babies.
1/700 Cleft lip/cleft palate is the most common facial birth defect in the UK, affecting around 1 in every 700 babies.

How can it be treated?

The main treatment to correct a cleft lip is an operation and is usually done when a baby is 3 to 6 months, and an operation to repair a cleft palate is usually done at 6 to 12 months.
According to the NHS, the majority of children treated for cleft lip or palate grow up to have completely normal lives.

Club Foot

According to the NHS, clubfoot (also called talipes) is a condition where one or both feet point(s) down and inwards with the sole of the foot facing backwards.

Who does it affect?

1/1000 It affects about 1 baby in every 1,000 born in the UK. Both feet are affected in about half of these babies.
1/1000 It affects about 1 baby in every 1,000 born in the UK. Both feet are affected in about half of these babies.
How can it be treated?
Corrective therapy for club foot, usually using the Ponseti method is successful in the vast majority of patients.
Notable people
who have these conditions

There is no shortage of testimonials on individuals who have been diagnosed with cleft lip, cleft palate or club foot and were not held back.

Notable People

Born with

Club Foot

Steven Gerrardformer Liverpool and England captain and Champions League winner
Sir Walter ScottScottish historical novelist and playwrightDudley Moore
English actor, comedian, musician and composer
Kristi Yamaguchi
1992 olympic gold medal champion for figure skating

Born with

Cleft Lip

Joaquin PhoenixOscar-winning actor

Tom Burke
English War & Peace and The Musketeers actor

Timmy Duggan
US pro road 2012 champion for cycling

Jürgen Habermas
German philosopher and sociologist

It’s time for:

Change
The UK has passed the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010.

We have also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, together this clearly demonstrates that the UK’s attitude to those with disabilities have changed from the last time major abortion legislation was voted on (1990).

Savanta-Comres
Polling from SavantaComRes shows also that only one in three people think it is acceptable to ban abortion for gender or race but allow it for disability. The support for allowing disability-selective abortion for conditions such as club foot, cleft lip and cleft palate is likely even lower.
It’s time for our legislation to reflect this positive change in attitudes.

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Ask your MPs to protect the lives of unborn babies with cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot