Mothers have shared how they stood up to pressure to abort their children after they were diagnosed with Down’s syndrome.
One said she was pressured to abort her daughter 15 times and was told at 38 weeks pregnant that she could change her mind right up until being induced.
Emma Mellor explained that “even though we made it really clear that it wasn’t an option for us” they “really seemed to push and really seemed to want us to terminate”.
But Emma said she made the “right choice”, and five years on daughter Jaimie has “a few difficulties but she is just like any other child her age”.
Her story is not unique.
Mum Lorraine Buckmaster was told her son might have Down’s syndrome after a screening but faced pressure when she declined further testing. She said the sonographer was “very aggressive and said ‘women like you make me sick. Why bother having a screening at all if you’re not going to do anything about it?'”
Lorraine added: “The support was only there if I chose to have an abortion, and that was what they presumed, but they weren’t interested when I said I wanted to keep Jaxon.”
Nicola Enoch initially struggled with her son’s diagnosis but eventually asked herself, “‘what is so wrong with him having Down’s Syndrome?'”
She said: “I am terrified I would have terminated Tom’s life. I was led to believe he would have a negative impact on our lives but he has enriched them and we are without doubt better people for having him in them.”
Nicola is now the founder of Positive About Down Syndrome, which aims to support parents and present the reality of life with the condition.
what is so wrong with him having Down’s Syndrome?
Earlier this month, a woman with Down’s syndrome was granted permission to challenge the current law on abortion at the High Court.
Heidi Crowter and fellow campaigner Máire Lea-Wilson said the law discriminates against unborn babies with the condition.
In the UK, abortion is permitted up to 24 weeks for most reasons but is available up to birth for children deemed to have a ‘severely life-limiting condition’ – including Down’s syndrome.
Heidi told The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly “I will not tolerate discrimination” and encouraged society to “see the person behind the extra chromosome”.