UPDATE, 6/24/19: Three judges on the Court of Appeal have overturned Judge Nathalie Lieven’s ruling to force a woman with mental disabilities to undergo an abortion at 22 weeks, despite the child’s grandmother stating that she would care for the child herself. Judge Lieven claimed it was in the woman’s “best interest” to be forced into an abortion despite the family’s wishes and despite the fact that the woman herself “appears she doesn’t want it,” in the judge’s own words.
The Court of Appeal stated today that they would give reasons for their decision at a later date.
UK Right to Life noted that “Lord Justice McCombe, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson overturned the ruling after the woman’s mother mounted a legal challenge,” adding that “the identities of the family, their social worker and NHS Trust who brought the case against them remain unknown.”
Right to Life called it “a very welcome decision that will save the life of the unborn child and the mother from a forced late-term abortion,” adding that “we fear that this is not a one-off case.” The group is calling for the Department of Health “to urgently reveal how many women have been forced to have an abortion in the UK over the last 10 years and make it clear how they will ensure it will not happen again.” Right to Life notes that Lord Alton of Liverpool said Judge Lieven “went way beyond the rights of a British Court” and “trampl[ed] on the foundation, paramount human right — the very right to life itself….”
6/21/19: A judge in the UK has ordered an abortion against the will of a woman with mental disabilities. The woman, whose identity has not been revealed, is 22 weeks pregnant and in her twenties.
The British-Nigerian woman is reported to have diminished mental capacity, the level of an elementary school child. The woman’s mother, a former midwife, made clear to the court that she would assume the responsibility of the baby, and argued against the forced abortion since it would violate the Catholic faith of both her and her daughter.
But on June 21, Justice Nathalie Lieven issued a ruling in the Court of Protection, which in the UK has authority over the financial and personal welfare of persons with diminished mental capacity, stating that forced abortion of a wanted child is actually in the “best interests” of the woman.
“I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the State to order a woman to have a termination where it appears that she doesn’t want it is an immense intrusion … I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination,” said Justice Lieven, according to the Catholic News Agency. “I think [the woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed [from her care],” Lieven said, because “it would at that stage be a real baby.”
The video below depicts a D&E second trimester abortion, which dismembers the child in utero, frequently while the child is still living:
Justice Lieven had a history of pro-abortion activism prior to her 2018 appointment as a judge. In 2015, Lieven represented the pro-abortion Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in its failed attempt to force Northern Ireland to legalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, or “serious malformation” of the preborn baby, according to the BBC. In 2011, Lieven represented abortion provider British Pregnancy Advisory Service in an attempt to allow women to commit abortions at home instead of at a hospital.
Legal counsel representing both the woman and her mother have stated that they believe the judge has underestimated the disabled woman’s abilities, and have argued together with the social worker taking care of the woman that termination would not be in her best interest. They also stated that the judge had no proper evidence that continuing the pregnancy would put the woman’s life or health at risk, said the Daily Mail.
The legal counsel representing the doctors and trust who wish to force the abortion argued that an abortion would be less traumatic than the separation from her child. Justice Lieven agreed and stated that she did not believe the woman understood what it meant to have a baby. “I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,” she said.
As the woman is 22 weeks along, the abortion would — according to the 1967 Abortion Act legalizing abortion in England, Wales, and Scotland — have to be committed before the 24th week. Studies have shown that babies born at 22 weeks have a 25% chance of survival, and babies born at 23 weeks and 24 weeks have a 33% and 65% chance of survival, respectively.
A police investigation into the circumstances of the pregnancy is ongoing.
“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!