MP’s effort to end discrimination in abortion law against babies with a disability

Former cabinet minister, Sir Liam Fox, has tabled an amendment in the House of Commons to end the practice in the UK of allowing abortion between 24 weeks and birth for babies with Down’s syndrome and other disabilities.

The MP for North Somerset, who is also a medical doctor, introduced his amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill last week.

The amendment, signed by 40 MPs including Mr Fox, seeks to end discrimination and the targeting of unborn babies simply because they have a disability.

Introducing the bill, Mr Fox said: “There is considerable cross-party support to remove an anomaly in UK law which allows those with Down’s syndrome to be aborted up until 40 weeks. Many of us believe this is utterly against the purpose of our equality legislation and treats those with Down’s syndrome as second-class citizens when it comes to their rights.

“My amendment would remove an anomaly which many were not aware even existed and send a signal about the values that we share across the political system in our country”.

Lynn Murray from Don’t Screen Us Out, whose daughter has Down’s syndrome, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many MPs are getting behind this change. Very few people are aware of this discriminatory part of our law that singles out babies with disabilities including Down’s syndrome allowing them to be screened out by abortion up to birth. As a mother of a 24-year-old daughter who has Down’s syndrome, I see every day the unique value she brings to our family and the positive impact she has on others around her”.