International News Sep 23, 2021 6:18 PM EST

Woman with Down's Syndrome loses fight with UK High Court over selective abortion laws

"We face discrimination every day in schools, in the work place and in society. And now thanks to this verdict the judges have upheld discrimination in the womb too," Crowter wrote on Twitter.

Woman with Down's Syndrome loses fight with UK High Court over selective abortion laws
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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A woman with Down's Syndrome has lost her battle with the High Court after she challenged a law allowing the abortion of fetuses found to have the same condition she has.

Heidi Crowter, 26, from Coventry, says that the legislation in question does not respect her life and right to live, according to the BBC.

Crowter has been fighting the law since July, and has since been trying to challenge people's perceptions of those with Down's Syndrome, saying that she is "just a normal person."

While her legal team argued that the law is discriminatory, the government has maintained that there is no evidence that the law discriminates against those who currently live with Down's Syndrome. The law provides for abortion to be available after 24-weeks gestation if the baby is found to have Down's Syndrome, or other maladies that would result in being "seriously handicapped."

Despite two senior judges dismissing the case, Crowter has vowed that "the fight is not over," and will seek to appeal against the judgement, according to the BBC.

"We face discrimination every day in schools, in the work place and in society. And now thanks to this verdict the judges have upheld discrimination in the womb too," Crowter wrote on Twitter.

Under the current abortion rules in England, Wales, and Scotland, there is a 24-week time limit on the procedure, unless "there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped," which includes Down's syndrome.

"The judges might not think [the law] discriminates against me, the government might not think it discriminates against me, but I am telling you I feel discriminated against," she continued.

According to the BBC, Lord Justice Singh and Mrs. Justice Lieven said at the start of their judgement: "The issues which have given rise to this claim are highly sensitive and sometimes controversial."

"This court cannot enter into those controversies; it must decide the case only in accordance with the law," they continued.

The judges said they have heard evidence that some families would "positively wish to have a child" even knowing it would be born with severe disabilities, but added that there was clear evidence that not all families would react the same way.

Iceland has nearly eradicated Down's Syndrome through aborting those that are found to have it in the womb.

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