The Abortion Act 1967 and Down Syndrome: Crowter

In R (Crowter & Ors) v Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2021] EWHC 2536 (Admin), the issue before the Court was the fact that the Abortion Act 1967 differentiates between pregnancies where there is a substantial risk that, if born, a child would be “seriously handicapped” (the terminology used in the Act) and those where it would not. The three claimants – a 25-year-old woman with Down Syndrome who had gained an NVQ qualification level, was employed and had recently married, A, a two-year-old with Down Syndrome who had met all his developmental milestones, and A’s mother [6-8] – challenged the disability ground for abortion in section 1(1)(d) of the Act as contrary to Articles 2 (right to life), 3 (inhuman or degrading treatment) and 8 (private and family life) ECHR. Continue reading