Downright discrimination: stop the govt singling out disabled babies

by Heidi Crowter

Downright discrimination: stop the govt singling out disabled babies

by Heidi Crowter
Heidi Crowter
Case Owner
I am Heidi, and I am asking the govt to change the law that allows babies with Down's Syndrome to be aborted up to birth. Please help me with my campaign.
22
days to go
£42,095
pledged of £50,000 stretch target from 1,283 pledges
Pledge now
Heidi Crowter
Case Owner
I am Heidi, and I am asking the govt to change the law that allows babies with Down's Syndrome to be aborted up to birth. Please help me with my campaign.
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: May 23, 2020

Update 23/05/20

Hi everyone, well, fantastic news, thank YOU all so much, we have the money we need to file the case against Downright Discrimination with the High Court. It is currently with the barristers and will…

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Hi! I am Heidi, I am 24. I live a very happy, fun and fulfilled life.  

At the moment in the UK, babies can be aborted right up to birth if they are considered to be “seriously handicapped”. They include me in that definition of being seriously handicapped - just because I have an extra chromosome! Can you believe that? 

What it says to me is that my life just isn’t as valuable as others, and I don’t think that’s right. I think it’s downright discrimination! If you agree please contribute what you can to our legal challenge and share this page with your friends, family and on social media. 

Case Background

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recently said that the United Kingdom should change its abortion law to make sure that people like me aren’t singled out because of our disabilities. 

Sadly, the Government decided to ignore their recommendations and didn’t change the law. 

So now, with your help, I am going to take the Government to court with other members of the Down's syndrome community to make sure that people aren’t treated differently because of their disabilities.

The UK has a legal duty to ensure equality and protect people with disabilities, but when it comes to abortion law, the Government just isn’t listening. 

This legal challenge is asking the Government a very simple question: is my life any less valuable as someone who has one extra chromosome?

How much am I raising and why? 

This challenge will only succeed with your support! Court cases are very expensive, and so I need your help to make sure that the UK changes its laws to make sure that people like me aren’t discriminated against or singled out because of our disabilities.

I’ve got great lawyers taking on this case, and our initial ask is for £20,000 to start legal proceedings, pay for legal advice and begin the preparation of the case. From there we will need to raise more to cover all the costs of a big legal challenge, so we’ll need all the help we can get. 

Thank you so much for your support. Together, we can make sure that people with Down's Syndrome have the legal protection we deserve!

See the following media coverage for more information:


The Sunday Times - Young woman with Down’s syndrome fights to stop late terminations

The BBC - Down's syndrome: Campaigners say abortions 'need 24-week limit'

The Daily Mail - Campaigners launch fight to end law that allows abortion for Down's syndrome up until birth

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Update 4

Heidi Crowter

May 23, 2020

Update 23/05/20

Hi everyone, well, fantastic news, thank YOU all so much, we have the money we need to file the case against Downright Discrimination with the High Court. It is currently with the barristers and will be filed in the next few days. Such brilliant news, and we are so very grateful to all of you who have made this possible, we couldn’t have done it without you! 

As we said before, we will still need more money, and we have a little longer to gather that together. How much we need next is dependent on whether the judge decides we can challenge this in court based on the paperwork, or if they need an oral hearing to make that decision. 

We need a minimum of another £12,000, possibly by the end of June. Thanks to a very generous separate donation of £5k we now need you help to raise just a further £5,000 to get us to our current stretch target of £50,000. 

Let’s go for it!

Update 3

Heidi Crowter

May 4, 2020

Thank you and let's keep going!

Sorry it’s been a while since we last updated you – there has been something important taking everyone’s attention! 

However, we have now had a response from the Secretary of State, which unfortunately resolves nothing, so we’re gearing up for a fight!

Thank you to everyone who has so generously donated, over £25,000, wow! We are delighted to welcome Máire, mum to Aidan who has Down syndrome and who is now joining me in the fight against Downright Discrimination. Máire says “I have two incredible sons, and value them equally, so I was shocked to discover that the law doesn’t.” You can read more about their journey in their blog - https://meandthelittlefire.com/2020/02/27/dear-matt-hancock-im-with-heidi/

Cheryl has worked really hard since this journey started, but she has now bowing out of the case. We really do appreciate all she has done to get us this far. So many thanks to Cheryl and little Hector. 

You have already given so generously and we have made great progress preparing the summary grounds. We now need to finish this, and file the case, to request permission to sue the State, on the basis that it is acting illegally, and against the spirit of the Equality Act, and cover some other practical costs. 

In order to do this, we need your help. 

We need to raise another £13,000 in less than two weeks, by May 15th.  

We will of course need more funds after this, if either we go to straight to trial, or to an oral hearing. However, right now, for the next ten days, we need to concentrate on raising the additional £13,000. Let’s go for it!

#ImWithHeidi         

 #ImWithAidan         

#DownrightDiscrimination           

#LivingOutLoud

Update 2

Heidi Crowter

March 13, 2020

Update

Hi everyone,


The Secretary of State has asked for another three weeks to consider the response to our request for a change in the law, due to COVID19. Our lawyers have advised that we should agree to this. Therefore we will try and wait patiently until April 3rd! Obviously we have raised our initial target for preparation of the case to begin, and that is happening. And until we receive the response from the Secretary of State we don't quite know how much we will need in total, and by when. It is, however, very likely to be at least £50k if not more, which is why we have the stretch target. So, please keep giving if you can, and as soon as we hear any more we will let you know.

Thank you again for all your support!

Update 1

Heidi Crowter

March 10, 2020

Heidi

We have been completely overwhelmed by your support so far for preparation of the case, £23,781 as I write. It has clearly shown that it is a cause close to many hearts. We are currently awaiting a response from the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, to our letter asking for a change in the law. The response is expected by March 13th. However, from past experience, we do not expect it to be positive. So please keep giving if you can, and we will update you soon, with the result of that correspondence and next steps. 

Thank you so very much!

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