Call to Action - Amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill, NC34

As you may be aware, Sir Liam Fox has tabled an amendment to the Government’s Criminal Justice Bill intended to specifically exclude a diagnosis of ‘Down syndrome’ as a reason for late abortion. 


Under the existing framework, established by the 1967 Abortion Act and subsequent amendments, a foetus diagnosed with Down syndrome can be aborted up to 40 weeks gestation, whilst others are typically protected by law after 24 weeks. 


This amendment attempts to address outdated and discriminatory practices associated with Down syndrome, and if successful would mean that pregnant women will no longer be offered abortions after 24 weeks or later stages of pregnancy purely on the basis that the baby has Down syndrome.


With appropriate support, many people with Down syndrome can today enjoy fulfilling and productive lives, accomplishing more than ever before. We understand that this is a difficult and emotive topic for many in our community but given the progress in medical science and prenatal screening, we feel it is essential to reconsider outdated and discriminatory laws that permit the termination of pregnancies diagnosed with Down syndrome until birth, based solely on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.


It is only right we equalise the abortion time limits, another step along the way to ensuring full equality for those with Down syndrome with the rest of society.


We have spoken with many support groups in our community who are lending their support to the amendment and would like to invite you to join us by writing to your MP requesting that they vote in favour of the amendment. It is likely a vote will take place in April, so please contact your MP as soon as possible as it can take a while to process communications.


How your group can support the cause:

  • Write to your MP and surrounding MPs (see our template letter below) on behalf of your organisation Find your MP – MPs and Lords – UK Parliament (Please copy in liam.fox.mp@parliament.uk and contact@ndspg.org)
  • Consider posting a public statement or press release from your organisation in support of the amendment (see NDSPG press release attached)
  • Circulate the template letter to your members and invite them to email their MPs asap
  • Support and share our social media campaign from Thursday 11th April – Monday 15th April
  • Support our social media thunderclap on Monday 15th April at 7pm
  • Give us permission to add your name to the NDSPG open letter of support for the amendment (info to follow)


Automatic letter to your MP – use this link to email direct

Example letter to send to your MP

Support the campaign using our social media frame

Press release

Press release (Easy Read)