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Down's syndrome campaigner praises MLAs' abortion law stance

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Disability rights activist Heidi Crowter has urged MPs not to approve Northern Ireland’s abortion regulations after they were rejected by the Stormont Assembly (Heidi Crowter/PA)

Disability rights activist Heidi Crowter has urged MPs not to approve Northern Ireland’s abortion regulations after they were rejected by the Stormont Assembly (Heidi Crowter/PA)

Disability rights activist Heidi Crowter has urged MPs not to approve Northern Ireland’s abortion regulations after they were rejected by the Stormont Assembly (Heidi Crowter/PA)

A young woman with Down's Syndrome has thanked politicians for "voting for equality" for unborn babies with disabilities.

Heidi Crowter (24), a well-known advocate for people with Down's, was commenting after the Stormont Assembly rejected new abortion regulations that includes terminations up to birth in cases of serious non-fatal disabilities on Tuesday.

Ms Crowter said: "Firstly I would like to say thank you for voting for equality for disabled babies in the womb.

"It makes me feel overjoyed and very proud of myself that my campaigning helped and inspired the MLAs. I listened to the debate and was delighted with the vote.

"I would now call on the Government not to ask MPs and peers to vote for regulations that contain discriminatory provisions that tell people like me that we should not exist."

MPs are due to vote on the abortion regulations, which were introduced in March, at Westminster later this month. The vote's outcome, however, does not change the recently introduced law in Northern Ireland.

Nicola Woods from Belfast, whose son Daniel (7) has Down's Syndrome, was delighted that politicians "have spoken up" over the rights of an unborn child with disabilities.

"It is great news that our elected representatives here in Northern Ireland have spoken up for the rights of the unborn with disabilities," she said.

"There should be no difference in the treatment of pregnancies depending on the chromosomes of the baby. People with Down's Syndrome aren't stupid.

"They understand that the screening and discriminatory abortion law around Down's Syndrome, and other disabilities, implies their lives are not worth living and the absolute opposite is the case."

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A pro-life banner which was erected outside William Humphrey’s office

A pro-life banner which was erected outside William Humphrey’s office

A pro-life banner which was erected outside William Humphrey’s office

Meanwhile, banners supporting abortion were placed outside the offices of two Belfast MLAs.

DUP MLA William Humphrey has said he will not be "intimidated or deflected" after one was placed outside his constituency office in north Belfast.

Socialist republican activist group Lasair Dhearg also put a banner outside Connolly House, Sinn Fein's west Belfast headquarters, calling for the party to "stop exporting Irish woman to England".

Belfast Telegraph