Aidan was not diagnosed with Down syndrome until the 34th week of his gestation. He was born two weeks later. Lea-Wilson has said that she was offered the option to abort her son three times after he was diagnosed.
She said: “I am thrilled to hear that the case will be heard in court on the 6th and 7th July, and I hope that this will be the time that we all stand up for equality.”
The High Court date comes weeks after the Northern Ireland Assembly voted in favor of a bill that would restrict abortions on the basis of non-fatal disability.
The Severe Fetal Impairment Abortion (Amendment) Bill passed 48 to 12 at its second reading on March 15.
Introduced by Paul Givan, a member of the Democratic Unionist Party, the bill would remove “severe fetal impairment” as an exception to the country’s abortion laws.
Under the abortion law imposed by the British government, which went into effect in March 2020, an unborn child who has been diagnosed with a condition such as Down syndrome or cleft palate can be aborted past the 24-week legal limit.
Commenting on the High Court challenge, Don’t Screen Us Out spokesperson Lynn Murray said: “By stating that disability is grounds for termination, section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act promotes inequality.”
“The provision in the Abortion Act harks back to a time when we thought it was better for people with disabilities not to be part of our society. We’re a far more progressive society now, we realize that diversity is healthy, and all of our laws should reflect that.”