Late term abortion for UK children with down’s syndrome doubles in past 10 years

14 February 2020

DS baby

The number of late term abortions carried out past 24 week’s gestation on UK children with Down’s syndrome have doubled in the past 10 years, recent figures have revealed. 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. This practice has no place in a civilised society.”

The recent figures, obtained in response to a parliamentary question by Lord Alton, have revealed that in 2018, the number of UK children aborted past 24 weeks gestation following a possible Down’s syndrome diagnosis increased from 11 in 2009 to 23 in 2018.

In addition, the figures also expose that the number of abortions carried out in the UK following a Down’s syndrome diagnosis have risen by almost 30% over the past decade.

Public push back against disability abortion

Recent weeks have witnessed a public backlash against abortion following a disability diagnosis.

Over 1,800 people with Down’s syndrome and their families have signed a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to insure than abortion for disability will not be permitted in Northern Ireland.

Earlier this year, US states including Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee, urged federal appeal courts to uphold state laws which ban abortion following a diagnosis of Down’s syndrome.

Disability late term abortion

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

Surgical abortions that are carried out in the second trimester of pregnancy involve using a sopher clamp to grasp and rip the limbs of the child. The head is clamped and crushed and the abortionist must assemble the body parts on a tray to ensure no remains are left in the womb.​

Abortions carried out in the third trimester of pregnancy involve administering unborn children with a lethal injection to the heart.