Parents of baby girl with Down's Syndrome support late abortion law change

A couple whose daughter has Down's Syndrome have thrown their support behind a law which would see the abortion of foetuses with the condition made illegal past 24 weeks.

UK law already means that without a medical exemption, abortion is illegal after 24 weeks.

However, pregnancies involving foetuses with Down's Syndrome can currently be terminated up to the point of birth.

North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox has proposed bringing abortion law for foetuses with Down's Syndrome in line with this.

Kelly and Craig Parsons, from Milverton, had tried to have a baby for 12 years before Kelly fell pregnant with their daughter, Cora.

Cora has Down's Syndrome and the couple say they were horrified when Kelly was repeatedly offered an abortion during her pregnancy - and reminded it was an option at any time up to Kelly's due date.

Craig with his daughter Cora.

"To see her little heartbeat, those hands waving on the scans, she was always sucking her thumb - she was a part of us," said Kelly.

"The thought of aborting her after our dreams finally came true was just heartbreaking. It didn't even cross my mind.

"By the third time I was asked I said to my consultant: 'Please can we have it added to my notes that I don't want to be asked this question again'."

Craig said: "We were really happy that Kelly was pregnant, that we were moving forward as a family.

"But again, it was having to say 'please don't ask us again' - or Kelly having to say 'please don't ask us again' - whether we're going to abort."

Dr Elizabeth Corcoran from the National Down's Syndrome Policy Group said: "The pressure around termination still exists and the effect that the law has on the way pregnancies are treated.

"And, after the delivery, people are asked repeatedly 'didn't you check?' or 'didn't you know you could have ended the pregnancy?'.

"So I think it's the only way that a caring society that wants equality should go."