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Woman with Down’s syndrome loses fight over law allowing abortion up until birth

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Heidi Crowter has challenged legislation allowing abortions up until birth for babies with Down’s syndrome

A woman with Down’s syndrome has lost her legal fight over a law that allows the abortion of babies with the condition up until birth.

Heidi Crowter, 26, from Coventry, took legal action because she believes the law is “downright discrimination”.

Maire Lea-Wilson, 33, an accountant and mum-of-two from west London, whose son Aidan has Down’s syndrome, also brought the challenge as she hoped it would remove “a specific instance of inequality of the law”.

In England, Wales and Scotland, there is a general 24-week time limit to have an abortion.

But terminations can be permitted up until birth if there is “a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped”, which includes Down’s syndrome.

Mrs Crowter previously said: “I am someone who has Down’s syndrome and I find it extremely offensive that a law doesn’t respect my life, and I won’t stand for it.

“I want to change the law and I want to challenge people’s perception of Down’s syndrome. I want them to look at me and say ‘this is just a normal person’.”

Asked whether women should still have the choice, Mrs Crowter added: “That’s not what the case is about, but I do respect their choice. I just want them to get the right information, and just meet someone who has Down’s syndrome.

“That’s what this is about. It’s about telling people that we’re just humans, with feelings.”

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