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MP aims to stop abortion to term for Down Syndrome

21 March 2024
Heidi speaks to media

Liam Fox MP has tabled an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill (CJB) which would end abortion to term for Down syndrome if it is selected by Mr Speaker and agreed by a majority of MPs.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Fox told the Prime Minister that he had secured strong, cross-party support for the amendment. When asked to support the amendment, the Prime Minister failed to do so.

Under the current abortion law, it is legal to abort a baby with Down syndrome right the way until birth. In 2021, figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show there were 859 abortions due to Down syndrome, up a quarter on the previous year.

This provision in the current law has been subject to an ongoing legal challenge, led by Heidi Crowter, who said the current law makes her feel like a second class-citizen.

The CJB is shaping up to include at least three abortion related amendments:

  1. An amendment from Diana Johnson MP to decriminalise abortion
  2. An amendment from Caroline Ansell to reduce the time-limit from 24 weeks to 22
  3. An amendment from Dr Liam Fox to stop abortion to birth for Down syndrome

Amendments are selected by Mr Speaker and votes might take place, although this is dependent on a range of factors, including whether the MP who tables the amendment actually calls for a vote.

In 2022, Mr Fox's private members bill to improve access to care for people living with Down syndrome passed into law. The Down Syndrome Act recognised people with Down syndrome as a specific minority group and made it a statutory duty that their specific care needs were met.

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In any pregnancy, both the woman and preborn baby have inherent value and dignity, by virtue of being made in the image of God. CARE is passionately pro-woman and pro-life.

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