A MOTHER flew the flag for the North-East at a Westminster demonstration urging the Government to reconsider a screening test which campaigners say discriminates against people with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome charity founder Maggie Hart, of Middleton St George, County Durham, was one of around 100 people at the Don't Screen Us Out protest from Parliament to the Department of Health.

The mother-of-three delivered a speech at the event on Monday (April 18) where she voiced her own concerns over the non-invasive pre-natal screening programme which is feared to lead to more terminations where unborn babies are given a Down syndrome diagnosis.

"It was a really emotionally draining and exhilarating day and I met some amazing people," said Mrs Hart, who founded the Newton Aycliffe-based Education Centre for children with Down syndrome. "This is the start of a much bigger campaign and now we need to get MPs on board."

The screening is being consulted on by the Department of Health as a measure to reduce the number of miscarriages that occur as a result of invasive testing.

But campaigners fear the introduction of the test will lead to more abortions as they believe parents are given "negative" information about the life a child with the condition can lead.

Mrs Hart, whose son 11-year-old son Alex has the condition, added: "Medical professionals are quick to condemn and the information needs to be balanced and fair.

"People need to be able to make an informed decision and not be told it's the end of the world."