End Disability discrimination

Support Heidi and Márie

 

End Disability discrimination

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16,698 people have signed. Help us reach 20,000 signatures.

End Disability discrimination

UK law tells disabled people that their lives are of lesser value and not worth living by refusing to afford them the same protection given to everyone else while they are in the womb.


Current law forbids abortion after the stage of 24 weeks unless the child has been diagnosed with a disability. Allowing babies to be aborted because of their disability is a direct contravention of the Equality Act, which holds that disability is a protected characteristic. Furthermore, the law does not allow children to be aborted on the grounds of their sex or their parents’ religion, to name two other protected characteristics, thank goodness, so why should disability be any different?


Every year in Britain, over 3,000 babies are aborted on the grounds of disability, including for easily treatable conditions such as cleft palate and club foot, and around 650 babies are aborted because they are deemed to have a much higher chance of having Down Syndrome. These figures are a conservative estimate, reporting errors mean that the actual numbers are likely to be much higher. 


Parents whose children are diagnosed with disabilities are given limited and biased information, and many report being pressured into an abortion multiple times throughout the course of the pregnancy by health professionals. They are led to believe that they will struggle to cope and that their child faces a bleak and depressing future.

 

Selective abortion on the grounds of disability is perpetuating the cycle of discriminatory abuse against disabled individuals. A Parliamentary Inquiry investigating the abuse faced by disabled people online discovered that much of the abuse centred around telling people that they should not have been born, ought to have been aborted or don’t deserve to live.


The UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has criticised the UK’s abortion law for discriminating against those with disabilities and recommended that the UK change the law. The UK’s disability rights commission has similarly described the Abortion Act as ‘offensive to many people, reinforces negative stereotypes of disability and incompatible with valuing disability and non-disability equally’.


On July 6 and 7, Heidi Crowter, who has Down Syndrome and  Máire Lea-Wilson, the mother of a toddler with Downs Syndrome, is bringing a High Court action to challenge this injustice.

Sign the petition in support of Heid and Márie and telling Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disability, to urgently table an amendment to the law, ending this gross injustice. Tell the government to end this downright discrimination.



References:

CARE: the law must stop discriminating against people with Down Syndrome - this case could change that!

https://care.org.uk/news/2021/05/the-law-must-stop-discriminating-against-people-with-downs-syndrome-this-case-could-change-that

BBC News: Down’s Syndrome campaigner Heidi Crowter on marriage and loving life

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-57089602

Daily Telegraph: Clift lip abortions 10 times as common as reported
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/9845780/Cleft-lip-abortions-10-times-as-common-as-reported.html

Heidi Crowter addresses the Northern Ireland Parliament

https://www.facebook.com/citizengouk/posts/498343338219454

 
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Support Heidi and Márie

To Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled people, 

You will be aware that campaigners Heidi Crowter and Márie Lea-Wilson are bringing a High Court challenge to the UK’s current abortion law, that discriminates against disabled people.

I write in support of Heidi and Márie’s case and demand that you take urgent steps to address this current injustice, which disgraces the United Kingdom and contravenes national and international equality laws.

Removing the protections given to the rest of the population while they are in utero sends a message that the lives of disabled people are not worth living and are of lesser value. This then contributes to the discriminatory attitudes towards disabled people in society and is often the source of vicious abuse, with disabled people being told that they ‘ought not to have been born’ or ‘should have been aborted’ and the stigma faced by parents and carers. 

The current legislation means that parents are often repeatedly pressured into abortion following a diagnosis; however, there are many examples of people with disabilities who go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives. 

The UK has been urged by many professional bodies, including the UN, to change this outdated law that singles out the disabled for abortion right up until birth.

I urge you to take legislative action that accepts and recognises the equal value of every single human life and reflects the UK’s professed commitment to diversity. 

[Your Name]

End Disability discrimination

Sign this petition now!

020,000
  16,698
 
16,698 people have signed. Help us reach 20,000 signatures.