Teenager with Down's Syndrome meets Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over abortion laws

Millie met the prime minister shortly after he had been appointed Credit: BPM Media

A teenager with Down's Syndrome from Berkshire says she was 'shocked and offended' at discovering you can abort a baby with the condition up until birth.

Millie Anna Prelogar, 18, met Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to discuss protocols and language used when speaking to expectant parents whose babies have been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome.

During her meeting with Mr Sunak, she raised concerns over how the healthcare system informs expectant parents about their child having a disability, and believes the system needs reforms to break common misconceptions.

She also spoke about current abortion laws, which allows the abortion of a foetus with a disability up until birth.

Millie says she feels that this difference in law reinforces negative stereotypes and questions the value and dignity of a disabled person's life.

Abortions can only be carried out under the care of an NHS hospital or a licensed clinic, and are usually available free of charge. Credit: PA

According to the NHS "the decision to have an abortion is yours alone". It says most are carried out before 24 weeks of pregnancy, and anyone requesting an abortion will receive relevant support and advice from a trained pregnancy counsellor if they wish.

It goes on to say that "they can be carried out after 24 weeks in very limited circumstances – for example, if the mother's life is at risk or the child would be born with a severe disability".

Millie believes this policy is discriminatory and has asked lawmakers: "Do you think I'd be better off if I had never been born?

"At first I was shocked and then I felt offended that the current abortion law discriminates against people like me, this reinforces negative stereotypes and questions the value and dignity of my life.

"I want the appeal judges to get rid of section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act so foetuses with disabilities are treated the same as all other foetuses.

"Having Down's Syndrome is no big deal. We can do anything we set our minds to with just a little extra help and support."

Over the past few years, there has been a growing debate on the right to abortion in the UK.

The government recently committed to ensuring abortion services continue to be available to women across the country, reissuing licenses to independent sector abortion clinics until 31 July 2026.

In August, at-home early medical abortions were also made permanent in England and Wales.

At the time, former Minister for Public Health, Maggie Throup, said: "The wellbeing and safety of women requiring access to abortion services is paramount.

"With these measures women will have more choice in how and where they access abortion services, while ensuring robust data is collected to ensure their continued safety."