Today's ruling re Down's Syndrome

(688 Posts)
Shirazboobaloo Thu 23-Sep-21 21:09:34

Sorry to hijack AIBU for this but can someone explain this ruling to me please?

What I can't understand (from press reports) is how this has "come to this".

Who is Heidi Crowther and who are those supporting her?

I am genuinely confused but don't know where to ask

OP’s posts: |
owlbethere Thu 23-Sep-21 21:26:04

She’s a woman with DS who lives independently and sees the law where you can terminate a pregnancy up until birth for a severe disability as a human rights violation against disabled people.

I see her point, and I understand that from her POV as a high functioning person with DS it’s awful to think someone like her can be terminated due to their disability…however I am pro-choice and that means being pro-choice even when it’s not what I would choose to do.

Theunamedcat Thu 23-Sep-21 21:32:02

She is supported by anti abortionist people

Its not a nice law but there are very sad reasons why it exists not everyone is high functioning not every family can cope or is willing to cope some conditions are not compatible with life

Some of the comments in the newspaper articles are disgusting one woman confessed she had an abortion because her baby was not compatible with life and would never have survived people told her she was wrong for not going through with the pregnancy it was awful

Covidworries Thu 23-Sep-21 21:32:54

Im pro choice too BUT a pregnancy can not be terminated after 24 weeks in most cases. After 24 weeks if the fetus isnt viable is different BUT DS shouldnt be a reason to terminate. Currently a DS baby can be terminated up to term and that isnt right as DS doesnt mean the child isnt viable or would be unable to servive outside of the womb. Plus DS isnt the only thing a child can be born with that causes learning difficulties but most learning disabilities cant be checked in the womb so the ruling has been a kick in the face for the DS community by stating their life isnt as important as a non DS life regardless of any oyher disabilities or not.

DunderMifflinSalesRep Thu 23-Sep-21 21:33:41

Can't help feeling that Heidi has been manipulated by pro lifers into taking this action.

Clymene Thu 23-Sep-21 21:35:04

Heidi has been manipulated by people who want to stop women from getting abortions.

Horst Thu 23-Sep-21 21:38:52

At the end of the day the person carrying the baby should have the right to decide if they want to continue carrying that baby or not if they find out that baby will have a life long disability. Not everyone is able to to do that that’s why we have the tests.

If you ban these abortions you are forcing women to carry to term children they don’t want nor feel they can look after. You run the risk of back street abortions and frankly the number of disabled children placed into the care system from women who would just give them up would sky rocket. Where are all these people who will adopt a child with disabilities? All the foster parents capable of caring for them?

Yes some would end up with a mother who would accept truly love and be able to help them but for a lot you’d just be sentencing them to a live where they where unwanted/neglected or grow up forever in the system.

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abcdeg Thu 23-Sep-21 21:39:47

Covidworries

Im pro choice too BUT a pregnancy can not be terminated after 24 weeks in most cases. After 24 weeks if the fetus isnt viable is different BUT DS shouldnt be a reason to terminate. Currently a DS baby can be terminated up to term and that isnt right as DS doesnt mean the child isnt viable or would be unable to servive outside of the womb. Plus DS isnt the only thing a child can be born with that causes learning difficulties but most learning disabilities cant be checked in the womb so the ruling has been a kick in the face for the DS community by stating their life isnt as important as a non DS life regardless of any oyher disabilities or not.



I agree with the ruling but you raise a fair point about DS not being a life limiting illness.

I also don't think these people, such as yourself, are pro lifers. They're not advocating banning abortion, I think they just wanted it within normal legal limits? So not pro life or anti abortion strictly, more that they want DS fetuses treated like the rest.

Feduphairymclary Thu 23-Sep-21 21:39:49

Heidi Crowter is a young woman from a family of activists who are also Christians, their activism isn't just related to abortion, her family members are (or were) involved in local politics too. She has, I suspect, been courted by anti abortionists with a religious angle, who are using her argument as a new form of attack. It hasn't worked in this case obviously.

Covidworries Thu 23-Sep-21 21:39:54

Its not manipulation. In most cases DS is screened initially at 12 week scan and people are offered extesive screening if fetus classed as probably DS. All this is done in almost all cases well before the general abortion cut off of 24 weeks.

The law already protects life limiting health problems that can be terminated after 24 weeks if needed.

What they are asking is that abortion after 24 weeks for DS (unless other life limiting health problems) is stopped in line with non DS pregnancies. Drawfism, missing limbs arent reasons that allow abortion after 24 weeks so why DS?

Ginger1982 Thu 23-Sep-21 21:40:18

Some women could cope with the challenges a child with DS may bring and some couldn't. It has to be their choice.

Embracelife Thu 23-Sep-21 21:40:21

The logical step would be allow all abortion up to term fir any reason
- I can't cope with a learning disability
- I can't afford a child
_ my partner left me it will be too hard

Any reason is valid.
Any fetus can potentially have a lifelong condition or develop one

Choice should be there for all women up to term

FWBNC Thu 23-Sep-21 21:41:05

Horst

At the end of the day the person carrying the baby should have the right to decide if they want to continue carrying that baby or not if they find out that baby will have a life long disability. Not everyone is able to to do that that’s why we have the tests.

If you ban these abortions you are forcing women to carry to term children they don’t want nor feel they can look after. You run the risk of back street abortions and frankly the number of disabled children placed into the care system from women who would just give them up would sky rocket. Where are all these people who will adopt a child with disabilities? All the foster parents capable of caring for them?

Yes some would end up with a mother who would accept truly love and be able to help them but for a lot you’d just be sentencing them to a live where they where unwanted/neglected or grow up forever in the system.

Agreed!

cloudacious Thu 23-Sep-21 21:41:41

People saying Heidi has been manipulated are incredibly disablist and rude. She's articulate and perfectly capable of taking this position.

Personally, I don't think DS should be a special case re abortion and is not a reason to terminate a viable baby. It isn't that kind of disability. We expect every other woman to go through with a viable pregnancy after viability because choice is not the only ethical consideration. No one needs to bring up a baby if they don't want to but no, it is wrong to kill a child who is recognisably a baby and could lead a fulfilling life (as Heidi demonstrates, clearly inconveniently for some).

Shirazboobaloo Thu 23-Sep-21 21:41:54

Thanks all - how does this relate to screening? I had assumed most people who knew that DS likely would be aware sooner?

OP’s posts: |
RazorSharp Thu 23-Sep-21 21:43:10

DunderMifflinSalesRep

Can't help feeling that Heidi has been manipulated by pro lifers into taking this action.


My fear is that you are correct.

CattingT Thu 23-Sep-21 21:43:21

Clymene

Heidi has been manipulated by people who want to stop women from getting abortions.



Exactly this.

shouldistop Thu 23-Sep-21 21:43:26

I wonder how many women actually terminate after 24 weeks due to DS?

pantsandpringles Thu 23-Sep-21 21:44:41

I can't help but feel the law is correct in regards to this. Personally, I would really struggle to ever choose to terminate a pregnancy (even one where I know my baby likely wouldn't survive, or at great risk to myself) but that is my decision, and mines alone to make.

I'm in favour of a woman terminating for that reason, or a variety of other reasons, or even no real reason at all. Because no one owns their body and until a fetus can survive on its own, then its up to the woman if she wishes to continue with the pregnancy or not (and even outwith those times for the reasons stated in the law regarding "birth defects" or incompatibility for life.)

We can't pretend to know the thoughts and feelings and experiences of any other person. This is such an intimate decision and we can't take the right to make those decisions away.

UndertheCedartree Thu 23-Sep-21 21:45:04

I think @Covidworries explains it well. I have a friend with a DS child and she has said how 'doom and gloom' all the information she was given about DS was and how they were spoken to about it. And she's found it to be the complete opposite.

Horst Thu 23-Sep-21 21:45:48

Other things that crop up not just ds are reasons for aborting after 24weeks.

I’d argue that actually 24weeks is too early for viability. Just because we can make 24weekers survive many then actually end up with health issues caused by being born so early if they do actually survive. This is that whole life at any cost. Rather than quality of life thing again.

abcdeg Thu 23-Sep-21 21:46:05

cloudacious

People saying Heidi has been manipulated are incredibly disablist and rude. She's articulate and perfectly capable of taking this position.

Personally, I don't think DS should be a special case re abortion and is not a reason to terminate a viable baby. It isn't that kind of disability. We expect every other woman to go through with a viable pregnancy after viability because choice is not the only ethical consideration. No one needs to bring up a baby if they don't want to but no, it is wrong to kill a child who is recognisably a baby and could lead a fulfilling life (as Heidi demonstrates, clearly inconveniently for some).



Exactly- anyone who disagrees must be coerced. She can't think for herself, obviously, despite headlining the whole thing.

She's obviously going to be passionate and invested in the topic if she has DS herself. The fact she doesn't agree with some of you, PPs, doesn't mean she's being manipulated

Sirzy Thu 23-Sep-21 21:46:19

The numbers who terminate after 24 weeks is very low. For such a decision to be made it’s going to involve a lot of discussion and counselling from those who are aware of the situation that family face.

Mum2jenny Thu 23-Sep-21 21:46:41

Ultimately anyone can walk away from a hospital after giving birth and the hospital has to deal with the baby.
I couldn’t but many do this.

tootiredtospeak Thu 23-Sep-21 21:46:56

I am not sure what is right here though morally. So you refuse to allow a woman the right to terminate her pregnancy therefore her options are to give the baby up to SS for adoption. I dont know the statistics on adopting children with disabilities but raising a child with a disability is incredibly hard. So adding in adoption for both the adopting parents and the child themselves is fraught with difficulties. Not least the child knowing that their mother didnt want them due to the disability.

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