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To think that the world would not be a better place without Heidi *Content Warning - abortion/disability edited by MNHQ*

(955 Posts)
bridgetreilly Thu 27-Feb-20 22:15:57

www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRoZ_7UPn5c&feature=youtu.be

Heidi is 24 and has Downs syndrome. She is beautiful and brilliant and very articulate in explaining why the UK abortion law is discriminatory in allowing abortion up to full term where the child has Downs syndrome (and other non-fatal disabilities including cleft palate or club foot), when the standard limit is 24 weeks.

She's not the only one to think that. The United Nations’ Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ concluding observations on the initial report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland made a key recommendation that the UK change its abortion law on disability so that it does not single out babies with disabilities. However, the Government has decided to ignore this recommendation.

Heidi, along with the mother of a young boy with Downs syndrome, is planning to sue the government for discrimination. She is amazing and I hope she wins.

oatmilk4breakfast Thu 27-Feb-20 22:19:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OfaFrenchmind2 Thu 27-Feb-20 22:24:01

I think this is a very emotive subject, but they are represented by a young lady that is very functional, which is not really the case for most people with Down syndrome.
I think we should maintain the current situation.

bridgetreilly Thu 27-Feb-20 22:26:12

which is not really the case for most people with Down syndrome.

There is certainly a spectrum of ability. But most people with Downs syndrome are definitely able to function to a degree that gives them a happy and satisfying life. And it is not possible to tell before birth (or for quite some time after) where any individual will fall on that spectrum. Do you really think it's okay to abort people like Heidi, just in case they turn out to be less able than her?

GothamProtector Thu 27-Feb-20 22:26:17

It is never ever appropriate to take away a woman's right over her own body.

Other people's feelings over her choices do not matter. No matter how emotive.

If one of my pregnancies had resulted in a DS diagnosis I would've terminated. That would've been my choice. And I and no other woman need to apologise for that.

Marmit Thu 27-Feb-20 22:26:37

I’m not in favour of any further restriction on abortion rights.

Howdidido Thu 27-Feb-20 22:26:51

Totally agree. I'm in favour of choice as far as 24 weeks. I've had an abortion. But once you're past that point its medically acknowledged in abortion limits that you're not dealing with a fetus. It's a viable life.
I don't know how I would feel if it happened to me and I was in a terrible situation but I feel like there cant be a cut off point for "normal" vs another for "other" viable lives.

Bella2020 Thu 27-Feb-20 22:27:18

I'd be interested to know how many of these late term abortions take place. Not many, I'd imagine.

StillCoughingandLaughing Thu 27-Feb-20 22:29:54

We already place too many controls on what women can do with their own bodies.

june2007 Thu 27-Feb-20 22:30:14

Gotham this is not anti abortion. This is saying that people with DS deserve the same rights as "normal" babies and they are not allowed to be terminated after 24 wks, Ds is not in it,s self a threat to child or mothers life in itself.

MrsApplepants Thu 27-Feb-20 22:30:25

I’m opposed to any further restrictions on abortion rights. I don’t agree with this.

GothamProtector Thu 27-Feb-20 22:30:56

@june2007 and I disagree. I think it should stay how it is.

veryphishy Thu 27-Feb-20 22:31:08

I don't support any restriction, you're either pro-choice or you're not.

If you're not that's fine, don't have an abortion but don't feel you have the right to tell me what to do with my body.

Hoik Thu 27-Feb-20 22:31:35

The law allows for abortions after 24wks only in medical circumstances, in 2018 there were just 289 carried out for this reason after 24 weeks. The reason it makes exceptions for post-24wks is that test results take time, difficult decisions take time, and the situation can change as a pregnancy progresses.

The decision on whether or not to continue a pregnancy belongs to the individual woman, it is not for other people to say whether or not she is "allowed" an abortion and placing restrictions on her choices is the thin-end of the wedge in terms of further restrictions. Continue the pregnancy, don't continue the pregnancy. It's a choice and we should not be removing choice.

june2007 Thu 27-Feb-20 22:32:09

I,m team Heidi. (and James, and James, and Christofer, and Joanne, and Sharon, Shannon, Eizabeth, Elizabeth, Alison, Jessica, Nicola, Keith, I could go on.)

Bigearringsbigsmile Thu 27-Feb-20 22:32:55

Do you really think it's ok to force a woman to continue with a pregnancy when she knows she has not got the resources to care for the child who will be born?
Downs syndrome can be very life limiting. It can cause severe heart problems. What if the child is very badly affected necessitating lifelong care? Who looks after the person when the parents die?

I have a friend who has an adult son with dows syndrome. He will never be able to live independently. She has to wait her job to look after him because there is no provision in the community for him.
Who are you to force a woman to accept that for whole life?

Howdidido Thu 27-Feb-20 22:33:55

For those saying they dont want any restrictions ( Not questioning your right to have that opinion)
Do you believe all pregnancies should be able to be aborted up to 38 weeks or just those with disabilities?
That's the point the OP is making (I think?) That it should be 24 weeks for pregnancies with no DS but abort until the last minute for those with DS.

sparepantsandtoothbrush Thu 27-Feb-20 22:34:08

A trigger warning in the thread title wouldn't go amiss here thanks

Enchiladas Thu 27-Feb-20 22:34:09

Omg I hope they win too! Honestly this kind of thing angers me, more than angers me. Full term abortion for cleft palate?! I have a CP son what is wrong with people for fuck sakeangry

Peapod29 Thu 27-Feb-20 22:34:50

What Hoik said. I don’t want any more restrictions on abortion rights.

Howdidido Thu 27-Feb-20 22:35:16

shouldn't be not should

bridgetreilly Thu 27-Feb-20 22:36:14

The decision on whether or not to continue a pregnancy belongs to the individual woman, it is not for other people to say whether or not she is "allowed" an abortion and placing restrictions on her choices is the thin-end of the wedge in terms of further restrictions. Continue the pregnancy, don't continue the pregnancy. It's a choice and we should not be removing choice.

We already place these restrictions on women after 24 weeks. This is simply arguing for the same rules to apply to all pregnancies, so as not to discriminate on the basis of disability, just as we don't allow abortions to discriminate on the basis of gender.

GothamProtector Thu 27-Feb-20 22:37:32

They have names @june2007 because their mothers decided to continue with their pregnancies. That's their right.

Why would you want to force a woman to carry and birth a child she doesn't want to?

Hoik Thu 27-Feb-20 22:37:40

There is certainly a spectrum of ability. But most people with Downs syndrome are definitely able to function to a degree that gives them a happy and satisfying life

And what about the impact on the woman's life? On the existing family? It is no small thing to raise a disabled child and being a carer can have devastating effects on your physical and mental health not to mention the effect financially/socially/career/relationships, etc. If a woman feels she does not have the physical or emotional resources for the task then she should have the right to end the pregnancy, it is her body and her choice.

Sinuhe Thu 27-Feb-20 22:38:31

I am always split with abortion because of disability. I know the arguments for pro & con but feel that it should be solemnly the parents decision within the set legal framework.
But yes, go for it because abortion at full term seems incredibly cruel.

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