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Defending life
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15 minutes to decide whether to abort Down's syndrome twin

26 February 2018

Sally Phillips visits the Rix Centre.

An all too common story

Sally Philips was left stunned when she heard how a woman was given 15 minutes to decide whether to abort one of her unborn twins, who was diagnosed as having a high chance of having Down’s syndrome.

The actress, who made the documentary A World Without Down's Syndrome was taking part in a Q and A with students at the University of East London's Rix Centre, which specialises in communication technology for people with learning difficulties.

"Risk" of Down's syndrome

According to the Newham Recorder, Claire Watts, 47, recounted her experience when a scan showed one of her twins had unusually high levels of Nuchal fluid, an early sign of Down’s syndrome. In front of a group of medical students, Mrs Watts was asked if she would like to terminate the twin at risk.

Mrs Watts turned down the abortion and Alfie and Alice, now 12, both attend mainstream schools, and Alfie uses the Rix centre.

Sally Phillips has spoken about how doctors said "I'm so sorry" when her own son, Olly, was diagnosed with Down's syndrome. She has also been a vocal advocate for the Don't Screen Us Out campaign against prenatal screening. 

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