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US News Mum of baby with Down's syndrome suing government over abortion law

11:45  24 may  2020
11:45  24 may  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

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The law is unconstitutional and violates “the very heart of the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy and autonomy,” the complaint alleges. The law penalizes doctors for performing abortions on pregnant women who receive a positive test that their baby will have Down syndrome .

Down Syndrome Abortion . The Preterm building is shown, Tuesday, Feb. Attorneys for the government contend in legal filings that the sidelined 2017 law does not infringe on a The Ohio law prohibits physicians from performing an abortion if they're aware that a diagnosis of Down syndrome

a close up of a woman: Mrs Lea-Wilson says she was encouraged in hospital to abort her son © Other Mrs Lea-Wilson says she was encouraged in hospital to abort her son

The mother of a baby with Down's syndrome is suing the government for allowing disabled children to be aborted after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Maire Lea-Wilson says she was encouraged in hospital to abort her son, who is now 11 months old. She felt the assumption was "that you would want to abort a child with Down's syndrome".

Abortions can take place in the first 24 weeks of pregnancy in England, Scotland and Wales. They must be approved by two doctors, who agree that having the baby would pose a greater risk to the physical or mental health of the woman than a termination.

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Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the ACLU are suing the state of Indiana over its new law that bans abortions sought for genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome , or for undesirable sex or race. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, also challenges a provision of the law that requires

Iceland has almost eliminated Down syndrome by aborting virtually 100 percent of fetuses that test positive. With the rise of prenatal screening tests across Europe and the United States, the number of babies born with Down syndrome has significantly decreased, but few countries have come as

a little boy wearing a blue shirt: Mrs Lea-Wilson says she doesn't want Aidan to grow up thinking his life is not as valuable as his older brother's © Getty Mrs Lea-Wilson says she doesn't want Aidan to grow up thinking his life is not as valuable as his older brother's

After 24 weeks a woman can have an abortion if she is at risk of grave physical and mental injury, or there is a severe foetal abnormality, including Down's syndrome.

Mrs Lea-Wilson said she "can't imagine life" without her son, and wants unborn children with Down's syndrome to have "equal rights".

"He's had some challenges and done so well so we're just really proud of him... I have two sons and I love and value them equally and I think it just seems really wrong that the law doesn't value them equally and we want to change that," she said.

a child posing for the camera: Maire Lea-Wilson with her 11-month-old son Aidan © Other Maire Lea-Wilson with her 11-month-old son Aidan

"The first thing that they wanted to talk about (in hospital) was whether we wanted to terminate the pregnancy, and I was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, so it was quite a difficult question to get asked.

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An Ohio bill would ban abortions after a Down syndrome diagnosis. It has become a divisive issue in the community, much like it is everywhere else. When a pregnant woman finds out that she' s likely to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome , she' s often given the option to terminate the pregnancy.

A mum who said she would have aborted her son had she known before birth he had Down ’ s ­ syndrome has been awarded an NHS payout. Edyta Mordel, 33, could receive up to £200,000 after suing over the “wrongful birth” of her son, who is now aged four. The High Court found that medics

24-year-old Heidi Crowter says the law 'makes me feel like I shouldn't exist in this world' © Other 24-year-old Heidi Crowter says the law 'makes me feel like I shouldn't exist in this world'

"It is really tough to think back on that, I find it really difficult to think that Aidan's life isn't seen as valuable as his older brother's, it makes me worry as to whether he'll be seen the same or treated the same.

"I also really worry that when he's older if this law is still in place, how will that make him feel: that he's not as valuable, that he doesn't have equal worth?"

The joint legal action has also been brought by 24-year-old Heidi Crowter who has Down's syndrome. She says the law as it stands makes her feel "rejected by society".

Miss Crowter says she enjoys watching Liverpool play football and spending time with her fiancée.

She said: "I think this (cause) is really important because it's downright discrimination.

"We are all equally valued and I am someone who has Down's syndrome and it makes me feel upset, rejected by society and looked down on. It makes me feel like I shouldn't exist in this world."

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Many people with Down syndrome live happy and fulfilled lives. The new Gerber baby with Down syndrome is awfully cute. If you believe that abortion is equivalent to murder, the taking of a human life, then of course you would make a different choice.

the law criminalizes abortion if the physician has knowledge that the procedure is being pursued due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome . if doctors were to perform an abortion with that knowledge, they would lose Down Syndrome Answers: When do babies with Down syndrome learn to talk?

a little boy looking at the camera: Mrs Lea-Wilson says she 'can't imagine life' without Aidan © Other Mrs Lea-Wilson says she 'can't imagine life' without Aidan

Ann Furedi is chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. She says women do not take the decision to abort a disabled child "lightly".

"Often (women) already have young children that they are trying to look after and care for and the addition of a child that will be profoundly disabled can just push them to the stage where they think that they simply can't continue the pregnancy," she said.

"Often there are financial problems, often it can bring out problems within the relationship... we need to make decisions about pregnancy based on that inner sense of what we can do and our own conscience.

"It's not a matter of somebody else making the decision for us and so when a woman thinks that ending the pregnancy is the right thing for her and her family, I really strongly believe that should be her decision to make."

The Department for Health and Social Care says it is not able to comment on legal proceedings.

Legal papers will be lodged with the High Court next week and a judge will then decide if this landmark case can proceed to trial.

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