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Woman With Down Syndrome Loses U.K. Abortion Law Challenge

Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.
(Gareth Fuller
The Florida Channel
Heidi Crowter looks on after speaking to the media after her court case, outside the High Court in London, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021.

Abortions in England, Wales and Scotland are allowed until 24 weeks, but the law says terminations can be allowed until birth if there’s “a substantial risk" the child would be "seriously handicapped."

A woman with Down syndrome has lost a court challenge against the British government over a law allowing the abortion up until birth of a fetus with the condition.

Heidi Crowter, 26, and two others argued that part of the Abortion Act is discriminatory.

Abortions in England, Wales and Scotland are allowed up till 24 weeks of pregnancy, but terminations can be allowed up until birth if there is “a substantial risk" that if the child were born it would suffer from serious abnormalities.

Two judges dismissed the case Thursday, concluding that the legislation aims to strike a balance between the rights of the unborn child and that of women.

The claimants said they will appeal.

“We face discrimination every day in schools, in the workplace and in society. Thanks to the verdict, the judges have upheld discrimination in the womb too,” Crowter said.

Click here to read more on this story from the Associated Press.