Court of Appeal rules that doctors must not force abortion on woman against her will

Three Court of Appeal judges have ruled that doctors must not perform an abortion on a woman with a learning disability.

On Friday 21st June, Justice Nathalie Lieven ruled that the woman must be forced to have an abortion against her will, and in spite of the fact that the woman’s own mother offered to look after the child.

On Monday 24th June, Lord Justice McCombe, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson overturned the ruling after the woman’s mother mounted a legal challenge.

The three judges said they would present the reasons for their decision at a later date.

At this time, the identities of the family, their social worker and NHS Trust who brought the case against them remain unknown.

During the hearing, details of how the woman was being prepared for a forced abortion.

Barrister Fiona Paterson, who represented the NHS hospital trust with responsibility for the woman’s care, told the three appeal judges: “She was told she would go to sleep.”

“She would have an operation and when she woke up the baby would no longer be in her tummy. But she would get a new doll.”

Miss Paterson said the woman had already been given a doll which she played with.

She added that it was “thought to be in keeping with her current level of understanding of the pregnancy” and that doctors believed “the prospect of a new one might be very appealing to her”.

Clare McCarthy of Right To Life UK has said:

“The Court of Appeal’s decision which will save the life of the unborn child and the mother from a forced late-term abortion and much undue distress, is extremely welcome. However, the horrific original ruling should never have happened.

Unfortunately, we fear that this is not a one-off case.

We are calling on 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.”

Lord Alton of Liverpool has said:

“The decision of the Appeal Court restores my faith in our judicial system. The implications of their decision should now be carefully considered by the Court of Protection. By supplanting the rights of the family, and the rights of a vulnerable pregnant woman, the Court of Protection went way beyond the rights of a British Court.  In trampling on the foundational, paramount human right – the very right to life itself – the Court exceeded its authority and the Appeal Court is to be warmly congratulated for overturning it.

There is an old saying that the person who saves a single life, saves the world. The saving of this single life should now open the eyes to the loss of so many others.”

Press comment – Welcome decision to overturn forced abortion ruling, calling on Government to reveal how many similar cases have occurred over last 10 years

24 June 2019 – An appeal to overturn a judge’s decision to force a woman to have an abortion against her will has been successful.

Further details on the decision are available here: https://www.premier.org.uk/News/UK/Doctors-must-not-abort-mentally-ill-woman-s-baby-appeal-judges-rule

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy has said:

“This is a very welcome decision that will save the life of the unborn child and the mother from a forced late-term abortion and much undue distress. However, the horrific original ruling should never have happened.

Unfortunately, we fear that this is not a one-off case. We are calling on the Department of Health to urgently reveal how many women have been forced by a hospital to have an abortion against their will in the UK over the last 10 years and make it clear how they will ensure it will not happen again.”

Lord Alton of Liverpool has said:

“The decision of the Appeal Court restores my faith in our judicial system. The implications of their decision should now be carefully considered by the Court of Protection. By supplanting the rights of the family, and the rights of a vulnerable pregnant woman, the Court of Protection went way beyond the rights of a British Court.  In trampling on the foundational, paramount human right – the very right to life itself – the Court exceeded its authority and the Appeal Court is to be warmly congratulated for overturning it.

There is an old saying that the person who saves a single life, saves the world. The saving of this single life should now open the eyes to the loss of so many others.”

ENDS

  • For additional quotes and media interviews contact 07847 454108 or email press@righttolife.org.uk
  • Over 82,000 people have signed a petition launched on the afternoon of Saturday (22 June) calling on the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urging him to intervene in this case and doing all within his power to ensure this woman is not forced to have an abortion.
  • For further information on Right To Life UK visit www.righttolife.org.uk

Press release: Over 75,000 sign petition calling on Government to stop forced abortion going ahead

forced abortion uk

24 June 2019 – On Friday the 21st May, Justice Lieven ordered that a mother with a learning disability who is 22 weeks pregnant must have an abortion against her will and against her mother’s wishes.

Right To Life UK have since started a petition to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urging him to intervene in the case and ensure this woman is not forced to have an abortion. The petition has gathered over 70,000 signatures (at the time of sending) in less than 48 hours since it was launched.

The woman’s doctors claim that an abortion is in her best interests, despite the fact that the woman herself wants the child and the woman’s mother, a former midwife, has offered to raise the child and firmly opposes abortion. Furthermore, the woman’s own legal team have argued that there is “no proper evidence” for the claim that an abortion is the mothers best interests.

Mrs Justice Lieven, said it was an “enormous” decision and that she was “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”.

After making this concession however, she proceeded to order for the woman to have an abortion against her will. “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.”

Justice Nathalie Lieven has long been a legal advocate in various pro-abortion cases and in a recent pro-assisted suicide case. In 2005 she represented the Family Planning Association arguing parents that parents should have no right to know if their children under 15 and under are seeking an abortion.

In 2011, she represented UK’s largest abortion provider and lobby group the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS). Lieven advocated for abortion clinics to be able to send women home to take the second abortion pill in a medical abortion outside the clinic/hospital.

In 2018, she argued, on behalf of Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, that the abortion law in Northern Ireland were akin to torture.

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Catherine Robinson has said:

“This is a horrific case of an unwanted, forced state intervention, ending the life of a baby without the mother’s consent. Counter to the ‘choice’ narrative of abortion advocates, the judgement in this case has ruled to the contrary. Forcing an abortion on a vulnerable woman is a violation of her own bodily autonomy and will inevitably cause her countless distress.

“A forced late-term abortion would end the life of the baby that has been growing inside her womb for almost six months. A baby at 22 weeks gestation is already fully developed and is able to survive outside the womb.

“Abortion is an irreversible decision that would end the life of the baby and is being used here as a discriminatory tool against the most vulnerable in our society. The overwhelming public outrage at this ruling should prompt the Government to act quickly to stop this forced abortion going ahead.

ENDS

  • For additional quotes and media interviews contact 07847 454108 or email press@righttolife.org.uk
  • Over 70,000 people have signed a petition launched on the afternoon of Saturday (22 June) calling on the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, urging him to intervene in this case and doing all within his power to ensure this woman is not forced to have an abortion.
  • For further information on Right To Life UK visit www.righttolife.org.uk

Stand With Her demonstration – Tuesday 25 June

Three Court of Appeal judges have ruled that doctors must not perform an abortion on a woman with a learning disability ( you can read full details here).

This is an absolutely brilliant outcome for the mother, her baby and their extended family.

That said, this horrific original ruling should never have happened in the first place. It is totally unacceptable that a mother had to go to the Court of Appeal to stop the state forcing a late-term abortion on her daughter.

Please join us for a demonstration outside Parliament to:

1/ Show our solidarity with this women, her baby and her wider family who have had to go through this terrible ordeal.

2/ Stand in solidarity with all women who have been forced into an abortion in the UK, as unfortunately it likely that this is not a one-off case – and we will be calling on the Department of Health to urgently reveal how many women have been forced by a hospital to have an abortion against their will in the UK and make it clear how they will ensure no women and family will ever have to go through this again.

Event details:
6:30pm-7:30pm
Tuesday, 25 June 2019
Houses of Parliament, Statue of George V, Abingdon Street, London, SW1P 3JY – https://goo.gl/maps/cjmGTuH7eqfqePG28

Please note: This will be a peaceful event and so we ask that all our attendees conduct themselves respectfully and follow the directions of our coordinator. Posters will be provided for those attending. These poster have been put together to focus on the event and the key messaging we want to communicate to the Government and to be shown in the media. Participants do not need to bring along their own posters.

The demonstration will include people who will be coming from around the country and supporters from a number of organisations including the Alliance of Pro-Life Students, CBR UK, Good Counsel Network, London Irish United for Life, March For Life UK, Life Charity, Society for Protection of Unborn Children, Rachel’s Vineyard and Right To Life UK.

Please do encourage friend and family to attend by sharing this event. You can do easily this by sharing the Facebook event here.