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CARE welcomes Down Syndrome Bill, calls for abortion law reform

Abortion
4 February 2022
Downbaby

Press release: 4 February 2022

CARE has backed a bill designed to improve the rights of people with Down’s Syndrome and urged MPs to “do the right thing” by also supporting a campaign against disability discrimination in abortion law.

Listen: CARE CEO Ross Hendry discusses bill on UCB Radio

We support the Down Syndrome Bill as a “vital measure to help a community that is often overlooked”. If passed, it would place a duty on public bodies to meet the needs of people with Down’s Syndrome.

It has already achieved support from a range of disability groups and celebrities including actor Tommy Jessop and is expected to pass its final stages at Westminster today, Friday 4 February 2022.

CARE CEO Ross Hendry commented:

“CARE fully supports the Down Syndrome Bill as a vital measure to help an overlooked community in our society. We are keenly aware of the discrimination and structural inequalities people with Down's Syndrome face. The bill’s provisions should ensure a greater level of support for their community and aid understanding of the condition.”

Mr Hendry added that politicians need to see the bill as “one step” in a long road towards greater disability equality:

“The bill is a great first step, but only the first in a sadly long road towards greater disability equality. People with Down’s Syndrome and other disabilities face huge injustices in various areas of life. Parliamentarians must do the right thing now and continue making positive reforms. Some talk about valuing diversity and disabled people but do not see through what that means in terms of action to make a better life a reality for every disabled person.

“One huge injustice that demands attention is discrimination against disabled preborn babies. In England and Wales, abortions can take place up to term in cases of disability. No other group is singled out in abortion law. As campaigners like Heidi Crowter are highlighting through the courts, this compounds disability discrimination and send a message that some lives are worth less than others.

“We would call on MPs in all parties to not be content with supporting this Bill but consider the message being sent through disability provisions in abortion law and repeal them. The public supports this. Justice demands it. Citizens with disabilities should not have to challenge such discrimination through the courts.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

CARE is a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives.

For interview requests or more information please contact Jamie Gillies: jamie.gillies@care.org.uk

About the Down Syndrome Bill

New Down Syndrome Bill to be introduced to Parliament | CARE

About Heidi Crowter’s campaign to end #DownrightDiscrimination

Heidi Crowter to go on fighting disability discrimination | CARE

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