UK

Catholic Woman With Mental Disability Will Have an Abortion Against Her Will, as Ruled by a UK Judge

By Samuel Allegri

A 22-week pregnant woman in her twenties with developmental disabilities and a mood disorder will be given an abortion, a U.K. court has ruled.

The judge decided that having the child would be more traumatic than having an abortion.

The execution of the baby will be against the will of the woman, and her mother, who are both of the Catholic faith.

The ruling was given on June 21 by Justice Nathalie Lieven. The British-Nigerian woman is said to have decreased mental capacity: having the mind of a 6 to 9-year-old elementary school child.

“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,” said Justice Nathalie Lieven in her ruling in the Court of Protection.

“I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination,” said Lieven, who maintained that her verdict was in the best interest of the young woman, reported the CNA (Catholic News Agency).

The woman’s mother is reportedly a former midwife and registered complete opposition to the abortion, pointing out her and her daughter’s faith in Catholicism.

However, the judge doesn’t think that the pregnant woman understands what it means to give birth to a baby.

“I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,” Lieven said.

Lieven also thinks that the woman’s mother would not be able to take care of the grandchild since she already has to take care of the mentally disabled daughter.

“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.” Adding that the pregnancy “although real to [the woman], doesn’t have a baby outside her body she can touch.”

The head of the legal team for the woman’s mother, Barrister John McKendrick, says that the court doesn’t have “proper evidence” that the mandated abortion will have any benefits to the pregnant mother. “Their evidence is premised on a narrow clinical view. The application must be dismissed,” McKendrick said, The Washington Examiner reported.

The head of the team in favor of the killing of the baby, Fiona Paterson, argues that the termination of unborn life is actually is an act of goodness by the government.

“A termination is in her best interests,” said Paterson. “In broad terms [they] believe that as a result of her learning disabilities … [she] is likely to find the loss of a pregnancy easier to recover from than separation from the baby if he or she is taken into care.”

Abortion is illegal after 24 weeks in the U.K.

National Health Service (NHS) data shows the chances of survival of babies born at 24 weeks of pregnancy to be 50 percent on average, depending on the NHS trust issuing care.

According to CNA, babies born in a University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust hospital in London at 23 weeks have a 70 percent chance of surviving.

Abortion in the United States

In a 2019 Marist Poll, 80 percent of respondents said they would like abortion limited to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy. And 71 percent of respondents said they oppose abortions after 20 weeks.

A poll conducted by YouGov and the pro-life group Americans United for Life in February found that 80 percent of respondents were opposed to abortion the day before the child is born and 79 percent opposed abortion in the third trimester at all.

In addition, asked about a Northam-style proposal of removing medical care for a child after birth, 82 percent of respondents said they opposed such a measure.

“This survey vividly reveals both the American people’s common-sense appreciation for the sanctity of life and the widespread horror, even among self-identified pro-choice Americans, of new laws like New York’s that effectively allow abortion up until the moment of delivery,” said Catherine Foster, president of Americans United for Life, in a statement.

The majority of respondents to a Hill.TV poll in 2018 said that abortion should be illegal or only legal in limited cases, such as rape, incest, or to save the life of a prospective mother. Only 18 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal in all circumstances, including the third trimester.

In a Gallup poll in 2018, 60 percent of respondents said abortions should be legal in the first three months but 72 percent said abortions should be illegal in the second trimester.

And 87 percent said that abortions should be illegal in the final trimester, or in the final three months before full term.

“Most Americans generally see some reason for abortion to be legal, but far more think it should be legal in the first trimester than in the second or third,” Gallup summarized.

The view has held for decades. In 2003, for instance, 68 percent of respondents said that abortions should be illegal in the second trimester and 84 percent of people said abortions should be illegal in the third trimester.