U.K. High Court Rejects Challenge of Law Allowing Disability-Based Abortions
A United Kingdom court has ruled against a challenge to a national law that allows disability-based late-term abortions.
Two justices representing the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, ruled on Thursday in support of the law that allows a woman to terminate her pregnancy after 24 weeks gestation if the unborn child is at risk of being born with a "serious handicap."
According to The Christian Post, the challenge against the law called its allowances international human rights violations, but the justices rejected that claim.
"The fundamental difficulty … is that the European Court has never decided that a foetus, even one post-viability, is the bearer of Convention rights," the High Court found.
"The fact that both domestic legislation and courts, and the European Court itself, have recognised that there may be circumstances in which the foetus has interests which the State is entitled to protect does not lead to the proposition that it enjoys rights under Article 2."
The ruling comes after Heidi Crowter, who has Down syndrome, filed a lawsuit against the U.K. National Health Service, challenging a law that allows babies to be aborted up until birth if the child is diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb.
Crowter and two other plaintiffs asserted that the abortion law violated the European Convention on Human Rights. The plaintiff specifically pointed to Article 2 of the European Convention, which declares that "Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law."
"The current law is unfair. It makes me feel like I shouldn't exist, and that I'd be better off dead in the eyes of the law," Crowter told The Sunday Telegraph last year.
The justices in their ruling, however, said that they understood the issue was controversial.
"This Court cannot enter into those controversies," the ruling states. "[I]t must decide the case only in accordance with the law."
Crowter said she was disappointed in the decision.
"The judges might not think it discriminates against me, the government might not think it discriminates against me, but I'm telling you that I do feel discriminated against," Crowter said in a statement.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Kagenmi
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.