The High Court has today rejected a legal challenge brought against the government by a woman with Down’s syndrome.
The landmark case was brought by campaigner Heidi Crowter, who has Down’s syndrome, and Máire Lea-Wilson, the mother of a two-year-old with the condition.
They are challenging the government over a disability clause in current abortion laws that means babies with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities can be legally aborted up to birth instead of the usual 24 week limit.
They now plan to take their case to the Court of Appeal.
Crowter, from Coventry, said she was not giving up despite the verdict.
“I am really upset not to win but the fight is not over,” she said.
“The judges might not think it discriminates against me, the government might not think it discriminates against me but I am telling you that I do feel discriminated against, and the verdict doesn’t change how I and thousands in the Down’s syndrome community feel.
“We face discrimination every day in schools, in the work place and in society. And now thanks to this verdict the judges have upheld discrimination in the womb too. This is a very sad day but I will keep fighting.”
Ms Lea-Wilson, 33, an accountant from Brentford, West London, said she was “incredibly sad and disappointed that the court has chosen not to recognise the value and worth of people with Down syndrome”.
She said she would continue to fight for the clause to be removed.
“People with Down syndrome face discrimination in all aspects of life, with the Covid pandemic really shining a light on the dangerous and deadly consequences this can have.
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