‘Down’s babies face pre-birth discrimination’

Disabled people are discriminated against before they are born, an author and mother of a Down’s child says.

Uuganaa Ramsay fears that new tests for Down’s will lead to even more abortions.

The UK’s abortion rate for babies diagnosed with Down’s is already around 90 per cent and in Iceland, where the new tests have been approved, 100 per cent of Down’s children are killed in the womb.

‘Written off’

In an article for The Scotsman, Ramsay, whose baby son Billy tragically died at just three months old, said:

“I feel that the proposed, new Non-Invasive Pre-natal tests for Down’s syndrome mirrors existing discrimination in society. People with an extra chromosome are already written off.

“As we discuss this new screening test I have concerns, not only as a career coach, but also as a mother and also as someone who campaigns for equality, human rights and justice.”

She added, “how can we make things equal and fair when society already accepts that before birth we are not equal?”

Societal problem

Ramsay joins other high-profile critics of Non-Invasive Pre-natal testing (NIPT) including TV star Sally Phillips.

Phillips, who has a son with Down’s syndrome, shared her experiences in a documentary called ‘A World Without Down’s Syndrome?’ last year.

During the programme, she said that with a screening method such as NIPT, no distinction is being made “between Down’s syndrome and a disease”.

She added: “If we have a society that is unable to care for people, then the problem is not the person.”


The documentary also shed light on the situation in Iceland when Phillips met Halldóra Jónsdóttir, a woman with the condition who has spoken out strongly against screening.

Jónsdóttir has a job and speaks two languages, but Phillips draws attention to the fact that she has to ‘justify her existence’.

Phillips concluded: “There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in and the imperfections are where humanity is most visible”.

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