The U.K. government faces a controversial battle due to its plans to push for a nationwide testing scheme for Down syndrome, called non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). This testing scheme is purposed to identify unborn children with the condition so pregnant women can be given early treatment. Pro-life activists, however, are taking their stand against the government's plans.
Plans of the U.K. government to legalize down syndrome abortions came out in early August this year, according to PHE Screening. Though a report from the Sunday Times showed that babies born with Down syndrome have significantly dropped in NHS hospitals, there was a change in the birthrate for babies with Down's syndrome from 1 in 956 births in 2013 to 1 in 1,368 in 2017.
The growing numbers are a cause for alarm although there are people who believe that legalizing abortion for babies with Down syndrome is not the answer. There are a couple of Pro-Life individuals who plan to sue the U.K. government in what could be a long battle surrounding the issue.
One of those who against the move of the U.K. government is Heidi Crowter. She is a pro-life activist with Down syndrome who plans to resort to legal means against the pro-abortion law. Right now she is thankful and amazed that the High Court will allow her to air her take on the issue, according to the Telegraph.
Crowter is not alone in this quest to halt the pro-abortion law. Maire Lea-Wilson, another pro-life activist who has a son dealing with down syndrome, will back up Crowter with lawyer Paul Contrathe representing them. Contrathe believes the case is discriminatory against people dealing with down syndrome.
"This case addresses a matter that is fundamentally offensive and discriminatory," Contrathe stated in a report from CBN News.
For Crowter, the current law is unfair. For her, it makes her feel that she should not exist and be better off dead. Per U.K. laws, abortion is legal in all stages if the baby would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
Lea-Wilson shares pretty much the same sentiment. She singled out how society backs the claim of empowering people with disabilities regardless of their background. For her, it deprives people of dealing with the said illness a fair and equal chance at life.
In the U.K., abortions become legal after the standard 24-week limit if Down's syndrome is detected in the fetus. Lea-Wilson feels that the law is "deeply offensive," a reason why she is joining the cause to change the law.
"This law, which allows abortion up until birth, is outdated, and we can do so much better than this," Lea-Wilson said.
Lea-Wilson is the mother of two headstrong boys who she considers determined, independent and loving. Of the two, Aidan is the one who has Down's syndrome. She was 34-weeks pregnant when it was discovered that Aidan had a genetic disorder.
Aware that her son would not be able to live independently, Lea-Wilson admitted that she was offered abortion three times, Sky News reported. She opted to continue her pregnancy and holds no regrets about doing so.
As a mother, it opened her eyes that everyone deserves an equal chance at life even if it will require extra effort. Aidan may be facing these hurdles but Maire will make sure that he is treated fairly and equally.