A woman with intellectual disabilities will be forced to undergo an abortion, thanks to the ruling of a United Kingdom court. The woman is in her 20s, but reportedly has the mental age of a toddler. She has not been named to protect her privacy.
According to The Guardian, Eloise Power, who represents an NHS hospital trust, said the woman has lived in foster care for most of her life, and that everyone around her thinks it’s best for the abortion to take place. The hearing took place in the court of protection in London, where judges make rulings based on the welfare of people with intellectual disabilities. Her foster parents, social workers, and medical team all agreed that she should undergo an abortion.
Justice David Basil Williams acknowledged that the abortion would be a “significant interference” in the woman’s bodily autonomy, but that she should be forced to go through with it anyway, because he feels it is in her “best interest,” as she would have to go through with “intrusive” medical examinations, and would not be able to raise the baby herself. Williams ruled that the abortion staffers could physically restrain her during the abortion procedure, and even put her under general anesthesia if necessary.
The woman was 12 weeks pregnant at the time of the ruling, meaning she will likely undergo a dilation and evacuation, or D&E, abortion. It is a violent procedure, which takes multiple days. The abortionist begins by inserting laminaria to force the woman’s cervix to dilate; then, one to two days later, the abortionist empties the uterus of amniotic fluid and then uses a sopher clamp to literally rip the preborn child apart, limb from limb. What’s worse is that this procedure takes place when the preborn child can very likely feel pain.
While the procedure itself is horrific for the baby, it also carries some very serious risks for the mother as well. There is a significant risk of complications, including perforation or laceration of the woman’s uterus or cervix, as well as damage to the bowel, bladder, the rectum and other maternal organs. Second trimester abortions also have higher risks of hemorrhage and long-term cervical damage.
In previous cases where women with disabilities were forced by the courts in the United Kingdom to undergo abortions, it was avoided when their family members fought for them and filed appeals. In this case, however, it appears that no one was willing to fight for this woman, or for her preborn baby.
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