posted on 26 October 2020 15:42
British mums have broken the silence on the pressure they faced from medical staff to abort their unborn children with Down’s syndrome. Michael Robinson SPUC Director of Communications said: “The pressure that women and families face is totally unacceptable. The UK’s current law allows unborn children who are suspected of having Down’s syndrome to be aborted until birth. It is vital that mothers are provided with support and that they are protected from prejudice and discriminatory attitudes.”
During 2019 in Britain 1,184 unborn children were killed by abortion after being diagnosed with a chromosomal anomaly such as Down’s syndrome.
Speaking to the BBC, mothers have described the “unacceptable” pressure they came under to have an abortion after their unborn baby was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome.
“Until my baby travelled down the birth canal I could terminate”
Mum, Emma Mellor, said: “ In all honesty we were offered 15 terminations, even though we made it really clear that it wasn't an option for us, but they really seemed to push and really seemed to want us to terminate.
“At 38 weeks, the doctors made it really, really, really clear that if I changed my mind on the morning of the induction to let them know, because it wasn't too late.
"I was told that until my baby had started travelling down the birth canal, I could still terminate.”
“The support was only there if I chose to have an abortion”
Lorraine from Milton Keynes was 45 years old when pregnant with her son Jaxon who has Down’s syndrome. Lorraine described how medical staff had a negative attitude towards her son’s diagnosis and she faced judgement for choosing to opt out of further pre-natal testing which can carry an increased risk of miscarriage.
“I said no, we wouldn't be interested, partly because we had lost a baby the previous year. She was very aggressive and said 'women like you make me sick. Why bother having a screening at all if you're not going to do anything about it?'"
Lorraine continued: “The support was only there if I chose to have an abortion, and that was what they presumed, but they weren't interested when I said I wanted to keep Jaxon.”
Children with Down’s syndrome are gifts who bring joy and happiness
In 2019 families in the UK launched a book which highlighted the positive aspects of having a child with Down’s syndrome.
Wouldn’t Change a Thing, was produced in the hope of dispelling the fear that can consume parents when they receive a Down’s syndrome diagnosis.
One dad described his child who has Down’s syndrome as a source of happiness and laughter.
He said: “We wouldn’t change a thing about our kids but we would change society’s attitudes to people with Down's syndrome and their understanding.”
“Offered abortion 15 times”: Mums break silence on pressure to abort babies with Down’s syndrome