Mum of boy with Down syndrome pleads with PM not to permit abortion for the condition in Northern Ireland

By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

A Northern Ireland mother whose son has Down syndrome has made an emotional plea to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him not to permit abortion for the condition. 

Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: “It is barbaric that a child who may have a disability in the UK can be aborted right up to birth”

Nicola Woods, age 34, mother to Daniel, who has Down syndrome is one of thousands of people who have signed an open letter urging the Prime Minister not to allow abortion on the grounds of disability in Northern Ireland. ​

Ms Woods said: “People are deluded if they think this [abortion for disability] won’t have a negative impact on the Down’s syndrome community here in Northern Ireland when it is the safest place to be diagnosed with a disability. ​

“People are keen to advocate for equality once babies are born, but not for the unborn child with a disability. ​

“Unborn children with disabilities are most vulnerable before they are born, where screening and abortion is the norm. 

Northern Ireland protects them and we want it to stay that way.”​

In July 2019 Westminster politicians fast-tracked legislation which repealed Northern Ireland’s existing law prohibiting abortion on grounds of disability. A new legal regime, due to be introduced by  March 31, 2020, is expected to be more extreme than the current law in Scotland, England. and Wales and will permit abortion with ‘unrestricted access…available without conditionality.’​

Abortion for disability

The 1967 Abortion Act permits abortion until birth if a baby is suspected of having a foetal anomaly. ​

In 2019, in the United Kingdom, 3,428 unborn children were killed by abortion after they were diagnosed with a possible disability. Reports from the Department of Health and Social Care describe how, during the procedure, such children are killed by a lethal injection to the heart.