The mother of a boy with Down’s syndrome has shared how a doctor offered her an abortion after suspecting the child had the condition.
Claire Watts said she was told that one of her unborn twins had signs of Down’s.
While a group of medical students looked on, the doctor asked her “on the spot” if she wanted to abort, but she decided to choose life instead.
Claire revealed that in the end it was not Alice, the girl diagnosed with Down’s, who had the condition, but her twin brother Alfie. They are now 12 years old.
“There was no way I was going to abort any of my children, despite the pessimism of doctors”, she said.
Claire shared her story with actress Sally Phillips during a Q&A session at the University of East London.
Phillips, who has featured in the BBC’s Miranda and the Bridget Jones films, has a son with Down’s syndrome.
In 2016, she presented a documentary for the BBC which highlighted society’s treatment of people with the condition.
The documentary, ‘A World Without Down’s Syndrome?’, was well received and she now calls it the “most important” thing she has ever done in her career.
‘Image of God’
A controversial new technique for screening unborn babies for Down’s syndrome is expected to be made available on the NHS, despite strong opposition.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT), a type of blood test, is claimed to be 99 per cent accurate in diagnosing the condition. Critics fear that it will lead to more abortions, and even to Down’s children being eradicated altogether.
Ciarán Kelly, Deputy Director of The Christian Institute, has previously said that NIPT “has its roots in the idea that some people’s lives have no value”.
“All human beings are made in the image of God and have a special, intrinsic value regardless of how young, or how old, able bodied or disabled that life might be”.