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.
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pledged of £134,000 stretch target from 3,632 pledges
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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: Oct. 29, 2021

Bad news and good news

Hi everyone

We have now heard from the solicitor that the judges at the High Court think they are absolutely right, and nothing else that we say can change their minds. This is not a surprise. And we …

Read more

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 18

Heidi Crowter

Oct. 29, 2021

Bad news and good news

Hi everyone

We have now heard from the solicitor that the judges at the High Court think they are absolutely right, and nothing else that we say can change their minds. This is not a surprise. And we are not giving up! We are now asking the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal. And will let you know what they say.

 We are very pleased that lots of people are still supporting us and lots of people now know about the awful law .

 Also people now know that people with DS can live amazing lives.

So on we go to the Court of Appeal – let’s do this!!

 Heidi

Update 17

Heidi Crowter

Sept. 23, 2021

Court of Appeal here we come!

Ok, so today didn’t quite go as planned. We thought the court, like all of you (and the UN) would see the contradiction in the law, and the need to do something about it. They didn’t, which is odd. However, that’s why we have the Court of Appeal. And the legal team strongly believe we have great grounds for Appeal. Hurrah!

We do however, need more money if we are going to take it there. Costs for getting permission to Appeal have been calculated at another £26k total. Please help us raise it, so we can tell the legal team we can take this further, so we get the verdict that acknowledges the equal value and equal rights of disabled people.

Heidi is ok but a bit gutted please keep supporting her.

Let’s do this!

Heidi’s team x


Update 16

Heidi Crowter

Sept. 22, 2021

It's TOMORROW!

Things are getting exciting, Heidi and Maire are busy busy, leaving us to update you. So we will be outside the court officially from 9:30am, tomorrow Thursday 23rd September, waiting for the verdict at 10:30am. Please come and say hi! If you can't join us in person, we will be live-tweeting from @HeidiCrowter95, she has kindly let us take over, and live-streaming from Don't Screen Us Out on Facebook. 

Here's hoping for the end of #Downright Discrimination forever!

As Heidi says 'Let's do this!'


Update 15

Heidi Crowter

Sept. 16, 2021

Thursday SEPTEMBER 23rd - See you at the High Court!

Hi! We have been a bit quiet while we were waiting. But we now have the date for the judgment being handed down. 

Calling the DS Community to come and support me, Aidan and Maire as we hear the result of the Court case .  Meet outside The Royal Courts of Justice from 9am on Thursday 23rd September.  Make lots of noise, hold banners and support us as we hear the result and speak to the media.  Please take pictures of your hands with 23rd September on, and share on all social media and tell everyone you know to listen out for the result.

Can't wait for an end to Downright Discrimination (we hope)!

Let's do this!

Love Heidi

Update 14

Heidi Crowter

Sept. 16, 2021

Thursday September 23rd - See you at the High Court!

Hi! We have been a bit quiet while we were waiting. But we now have the date for the judgment being handed down. 

Calling the DS Community to come and support me, Aidan and Maire as we hear the result of the Court case .  Meet outside The Royal Courts of Justice from 9am on Thursday 23rd June.  Make lots of noise, hold banners and support us as we hear the result and speak to the media.  Please take pictures of your hands with 23rd September on, and share on all social media and tell everyone you know to listen out for the result.

Can't wait for an end to Downright Discrimination (we hope)!

Let's do this!

Love Heidi 

Update 13

Heidi Crowter

July 7, 2021

Day 2. Arguments complete.

The case moved to online today, so no pictures. 

Sir James talked about what the State think. They are wrong, obviously.

Now we have to wait for the judgment which could be a while. 

You have all been so amazing, supporting and signing and cheering us on. Thank you!

Please keep talking about the case. Maybe to your MP!

We'll let you all know when the judges are ready to tell us what they think, 

Thank you again, so much

Heidi, Maire, Aidan

We've done this together, so happy to have you all here with us. 


Update 12

Heidi Crowter

July 7, 2021

What a day!

Thank you thank you thank you all SO very much for your support. We have been blown away by all the messages, and love, flooding our phones, social media and in person too. 

In court it is serious stuff. We were delighted to be given permission to tweet. The team will be at it again today from my account @heidicrowter95. 

Trigger warning - Today is the turn of the opposition, so it may be hard reading.

But with all your support we know we can get through. And we have an amazing legal team!

We also have a petition, as so many people have been asking if there are other ways to support. https://citizengo.org/en-gb/lf/203314-end-disability-discrimination

Thank you thank you thank you

Day 2 Let's Do This!!!

lots of love Heidi, Maire, Aidan and team



Update 11

Heidi Crowter

July 4, 2021

Easy Read

Hi again!

We wanted to let you have easy read versions of the Court Case! 

Here you go:

Let's Do This!

Love from 

Heidi, Máire and Aidan

Update 10

Heidi Crowter

July 3, 2021

It's TOMORROW!

We're in London and all ready to go for tomorrow! 

We'd love to see you outside the High Court around 9am before we go inside. 

If you can't get down, you can follow the case on Twitter. 

If court give permission then livetweets from the court from my account @HeidiCrowter95 so follow me! 

If not, @dontscreenusout will be updating regularly throughout the day. 

I've let my team take over my Twitter account for the days of the case, as it's all a bit busy - and I want to sightsee with my gorgeous husband James.

Final thing, there is a more detailed easy read available, ask us! downrightdiscrimination123@gmail.com

LET'S DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!

Heidi, Maire and Aidan


Update 9

Heidi Crowter

July 3, 2021

3 days to go!

We can't believe there are only three days to go til we get to the High Court! Thank you so much for all your support, you are amazing! Keep sharing, we want the world to know #DownrightDiscrimination must end.

We also wanted to introduce you to our amazing legal team. 

Our wonderful solicitor who is doing his best to keep us all sane, Paul Conrathe.

Our lovely Barrister Emma McIlveen who has come out of maternity leave to do this for us (she deserves flowers AND chocolates!)

Our very serious Queens Counsel Jason Coppel - thank you, we are in awe.

We also have news on our judges, TWO judges......(we'll let you know if they are wonderful after they have ruled) Lord Justice Singh and Mrs Justice Lieven.

Let's do this!

Heidi, Maire and Aidan xxx

Update 8

Heidi Crowter

June 30, 2021

6 days to go!

Hi everyone!!

The court case is getting really close now – I am excited and nervous at the same time!

Thank you so much for your generous giving to the fund, (if you haven't, it's not too late to give to help us meet all our expenses!)  

We are planning to meet outside the High Court (Strand, WC2A 2LL) from 9.30am on Tuesday 6th July.

Me and James will be speaking and lots of other people with learning disabilities too.  We will be waving our hands with #DownrightDiscrimination written on them, waving banners, giving out stickers and generally showing everyone that our lives are just as amazing as anyone else’s.

It would be great if you could join us! 

Let’s do this!

Heidi, (and Máire and Aidan too!)

Update 7

Heidi Crowter

May 28, 2021

Facebook Live with Heidi and Friends, June 3rd!

Hi everyone,

This is Máire and Aidan here! We wanted to write and say thank you to each and every single one of you who has donated and helped us to reach £95k+! It really is incredible and we are so grateful. It just goes to show how much this case means to so many people.

It’s not long until the court case now and we are hugely optimistic and excited. 6th July, here we come! We really do think that we can change the law so that everyone is equally valued - regardless of whether they just so happen to have an extra chromosome.

We still need to raise a bit more to cover the legal fees. You have all already been so generous, we would love it if you could share the link to the crowdjustice fund with your family and friends to help us cross the finishing line!

We also have a special treat lined up to win over hearts and minds. Heidi will be hosting a Facebook live from her page “Heidi Crowter - Living the Dream” on Thursday, 3rd June at 8pm. This will be a great opportunity for everyone to hear directly from Heidi about the case and her wonderful life! She will be joined by some special guests; Line of Duty star, Tommy Jessop, Doctors star, Bethany Asher, and No Offence star, Rishard Beckett! We really hope you can join us then, and invite your friends and family too!

Once again, thank you so much for all the incredible support and love throughout the case. We’re so nearly there! As Heidi would say, LET’S DO THIS!

Lots of Love
Máire & Aidan
xXx
Update 6

Heidi Crowter

May 2, 2021

Court Date!

 

Hiya Everyone, hope you are all well and safe. 

Exciting update ……

We  HAVE A COURT CASE DATE ! 

The Court case is on Tuesday 6th July and Wed 7th 2021. We hope this day will make a revolutionary mark on this world and the law! 

I feel so excited to get a court case date because I feel like there is finally a chance to fully achieve down’s syndrome equality in this land and for our voices to be heard.  

Thank you so much for your support so far, we are really really grateful.  We hope you are as excited as we are that we finally have a date.   Would you please consider helping us to cross the finish line to the £100,000. 

 https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/downrightdiscrimination/

Update 5

Heidi Crowter

Oct. 17, 2020

Happy New Year!

HI everyone


Happy New Year  I hope you are keeping well in these annoying times.  I am very happy and excited that this year my court case will be in the high court later this year and I hope with all your support that we will win!  


Thank you to everyone who has given so far - if you are able to give more that would be fantastic.  Please can you share the court case news and this update with all your friends and family.


Lets do this!!

Love from Heidi

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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