Mother suing over failed abortion attacks media

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The Independent Online

A mother who hopes to win £250,000 in compensation after her daughter survived an abortion four years ago defended her legal battle yesterday.

Stacy Dow, from Perth, was 16 when she found out she was pregnant with twins and decided to have a termination at Perth Royal Infirmary.

But when she returned to her doctor after 33 weeks, she was told that one of the babies had survived.

The surviving child, Jayde, is now four. In a landmark legal case, Ms Dow, now 21, is claiming damages for the "financial burden" of her daughter's upbringing. Tayside University Hospitals NHS Trust is challenging the action and has said there had been nothing to suggest the child had survived.

Ms Dow said she felt hurt at being branded a heartless and grasping mother in the media. "Those people who write about me don't know my life. They've never asked," she said.

"I'll tell Jayde when she's about 10 or 11 that I was young and scared and felt the best thing to do was to have a termination.

"I'll say I was just a teen, I was just out of school and I wouldn't have had it done if I was 18 or 19."

The father of her child, Greg McConnell, died of a drug overdose in April 2003, after Jayde was born.

Ms Dow hopes to buy a flat near the family home and take Jayde to Disneyland if the legal battle is successful. "The money will help us get our lives sorted," she said. "The biggest thing in my life is what happened to Greg, and Jayde not having her dad, not the court case."

Ms Dow said she is living on £70 a week, sharing her parents' three-bedroom terraced council house in Perth with her brother and sister. The case is due to resume at Perth Sheriff Court on Wednesday.