“No disability is without hope”

Hilary McDowell is a successful dramatist, writer and broadcaster. She has also had multiple disabilities since birth and was given a life expectancy of just three weeks.

Doctors said she would never walk and possibly never speak but today her success in many fields means she travels the globe for writing and speaking engagements.

Speaking to The Christian Institute for our ‘Choose Life’ series she says: “Every child deserves life”.

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When she was born doctors told her mother “‘Take her home and love her and bury her because even if she did live’, the doctors said, ‘she would have no quality of life'”.

Today, although she still has some problems with walking, hearing and her sight, she is an author of five books and a performance poet among many other things.

She feels she has many reasons to be positive saying God “got inside the situation and transformed it from inside”.


She feels great sympathy for the “tragedy and the heartbreak” experienced by mothers of severely disabled children.

But she believes “no disability is without hope,” and encourages mothers to consider the benefit of carrying their baby to term so that even if the baby doesn’t survive, they can still say: ‘I gave it life in me for nine months'”.

Deserves life

“Every child deserves life” she concludes. “I’m wanting in a humble way to be the voice of the baby, crying out and saying ‘I’m here, I’m alive, I want to live'”.

The Northern Ireland Department of Justice is recommending that abortions are allowed where the unborn child does not have a ‘viable life’.

Its public consultation closes on 17 January 2015.

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