Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 70(3) August 2020

Mother of baby with Down’s syndrome suing government over law allowing abortion up to birth for disability

We also hear that a mother of a child with Down’s syndrome is suing the government over the UK’s abortion law which allows disabled children to be aborted up until birth.

Maire Lea-Wilson, the mother seeking to sue to government, has described how during her pregnancy she was encouraged to abort her son with Down’s syndrome. Ms Lea-Wilson’s son is now 11 months old.

Legal papers were with the High Court in May and a judge will then decide if this case can proceed to trial.

Ms Lea-Wilson said: “I value both my sons equally, it is wrong that the law doesn’t. I have two sons and I love and value them equally and I think it just seems really wrong that the law doesn't value them equally and we want to change that.” She continued "The first thing that they wanted to talk about (in hospital) was whether we wanted to terminate the pregnancy, and I was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, so it was quite a difficult question to get asked.

"It is really tough to think back on that. I find it really difficult to think that Aidan's life isn't seen as valuable as his older brother's. It makes me worry as to whether he'll be seen the same or treated the same.

"I also really worry that when he's older if this law is still in place, how will that make him feel: that he's not as valuable, that he doesn't have equal worth?"

In addition, 24-year-old Heidi Crowter who has Down’s syndrome is also jointly pursuing legal action against the government alongside Ms Lea-Wilson.

Heidi has said "that the UK’s abortion law makes her feel rejected by society and looked down on” She said that the UK’s abortion law makes her feel as though she “shouldn’t exist".

We are again grateful to SPUC for the copy that forms the majority of this article.


Mum of baby with Down’s syndrome suing government over law allowing abortion up to birth for disability. SPUC News 28th May 2020­allowing-abortion-up-to-birth-for-disability