Mothers reveal huge pressure to abort babies with Down’s syndrome

Mothers who refuse to abort their children with Down’s syndrome are pressured by medics to change their decision, a report has revealed.

One mum whose child is now five-years-old told how even at 38 weeks pregnant she was being offered an abortion.

Another mother said medical professionals told her they could leave her baby to die if it was struggling after birth.


The report, from Positive About Down Syndrome (PADS), revealed that 69 per cent of women were offered an abortion after they were told their baby had Down’s syndrome.

There is very limited support and an overriding assumption to terminate.

Positive About Down Syndrome

Even after informing medical professionals that they wished to keep their child, 46 per cent of mothers were asked if they wanted to change their decision.

Nicola Enoch, founder of PADS, said: “Women are making life or death decisions influenced by outdated and prejudicial views by many medical professionals.


“Expectant women are not given accurate information about the reality of life with Down’s syndrome. There is very limited support and an overriding assumption to terminate.

“It is no wonder that 90% of women go on to terminate given these circumstances.”

Speaking to PADS, Emma Mellor said: “In all honesty I think we must have been offered about 15 terminations”.

“At 38 weeks they made it really, really, really clear, that if I changed my mind on the morning of the induction to let them know, because it wasn’t too late; until the baby had started travelling down the birth canal, I could still terminate.”

37 weeks

Nicola Sparrow was offered an abortion at 37 weeks, after being told she would be induced the next morning.

She said, “I was being told I still had options to whether I was going to have my baby or not and then also that if she was born not breathing or struggling to breathe, that they were willing to not help my baby, they were willing to just leave her.”

The survey questioned 1,410 women who have given birth to a child with Down’s syndrome since 2000.

Watch our Choose Life series – people’s personal stories of how they were deeply affected by abortion.

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