UK abortion law and disability
The legal limit for most abortions was reduced from 28 weeks to 24 weeks in 1990 because some babies now survive at 24 weeks.
‘When there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped’ there is no legal limit as to when abortion can take place. (Abortion Act 1967)
British abortion law does not specify which disabilities or conditions can or cannot be grounds for abortion after 24 weeks. The decision is left up to the woman and her doctors.
Arguments supporting abortion for disability
The basic argument about abortion for disability reflects current debate about abortion generally. Those who support the right of a woman to opt for abortion because of a diagnosis of fetal abnormality or disability are often supporters of the right to choose in general:
- Women are capable of making informed choices if th