The Archbishop of York is supporting a legal challenge to be heard at the High Court to change the Abortion Act to prevent terminations after 24 weeks for all non-fatal disabilities.
The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, together with the Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome, the Church of England’s lead bishop for health and social care, and the Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman, said people with disability should be “valued, respected and cherished”.
The “#downrightdiscrimination” campaign led by Heidi Carter (née Crowter) and Máire Lea-Wilson argues that the law discriminates in its treatment of people with Down’s Syndrome.
The bishops said: “The Church of England has consistently argued that the law on abortion is discriminatory on two counts. In the first instance, it permits abortions to be carried out solely on the basis of disability; secondly, it removes the twenty-four week time limit for abortions in cases of disability.
“We do not believe that such discrimination, founded on the probability of disability, is justifiable,” they declared.