1,500 call on Stormont to protect babies with Down’s syndrome from abortion

More than 1,500 people have signed an open letter calling on Northern Ireland’s politicians to protect those with the condition from being aborted.

Signatories are either those who have Down’s syndrome or are related to someone who does. They believe the law on abortion in the Province is discriminatory and must be changed.

They are asking Stormont to vote in favour of Paul Givan’s Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill at its second reading. The Bill would change the law to ban abortion on the grounds of conditions such as Down’s syndrome – currently permitted up to birth.

Show the way

Lynn Murray, spokeswoman for the Don’t Screen Us Out campaign, said: “Already, over 1,500 people with Down’s syndrome and their families have called on NI party leaders to support this Bill.

“It’s clear that there is strong support from the Down’s syndrome community for a change in the law.

“We call on politicians from across the political spectrum to support this Bill and show the way forward for other countries.”

‘Outdated preconceptions’

Sara McNeill, whose son has the condition, said: “Tom is the best thing about our lives and has brought so much happiness to our whole family connection.

“So I would urge any parent faced with the decision of what to do, not to be blinded by poor, outdated preconceptions of what Down’s syndrome is.

“I thought our outlook seemed bleak when our doctor first shared her suspicions about our brand new baby, but now I know better.”

Heart-breaking

Another mother of a child with Down’s syndrome, Lisa Allen, said: “When Aaron was 4 weeks old we were told he would need surgery on his heart at 6 months old. He has 3 holes in his heart”.

To think that now a baby like Aaron could have his life ended because of Down’s syndrome breaks my heart

Lisa continued: “Aaron was sent home with a feeding tube and meds and we were told to prepare for his surgery at 6 months old. Nearly 6 years later and he is amazing his consultants and has still avoided surgery.

“Aaron is a loveable, strong and determined little boy. To think that now a baby like Aaron could have his life ended because of Down’s syndrome breaks my heart. He has shown that he is strong, able and determined from day one.”

Also see:

Downs girl

EXCLUSIVE: MLA and Down’s syndrome campaigner talk to CI

New Bill aims to end disability abortion in NI

Down’s syndrome campaigners take UK Govt to High Court over abortion law

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