Large numbers protest forced abortion decision outside Parliament

On Tuesday, Stand With Her held a demonstration outside Parliament in response to a ruling made on Friday 21st June, where Justice Nathalie Lieven ordered a woman with a learning disability who was 22 weeks pregnant to have an abortion against her will.

The demonstration was intended to show solidarity with the unnamed woman, her baby, her own mother and any other women who have been forced to have an abortion.

It is unlikely that this is a one-off case. Right To Life UK 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 clear how they will ensure no women and family will ever have to go through this again.

After an appeal was brought forward on Monday 24th June, the Justice Lieven’s forced abortion decision was overturned. Instead, three Court of Appeal judges ruled that doctors must not perform an abortion on the woman with a learning disability.

While campaigners were pleased with this outcome for the mother, her baby and their extended family, they questioned how this ruling could ever have happened in the first place.

Speaking at the event, Emmi Egbonou, said: 

“What is shocking is that this was ever allowed to happen in the first place. The fact that the state can force a late-term abortion on a woman who did not want one is not the kind of state we want to live in. The fact that a judge could make a ruling to force an abortion on a vulnerable woman without her consent is a betrayal of the justice system and betrayal of the most vulnerable in our society. 

A forced late-term abortion would have been an irreversible trauma on the mother and would have ended the life of the baby that had been growing inside her womb for almost six months and, at 22 weeks, could survived outside the womb. 

We are here today to we stand with this woman. We stand with her baby. We stand with her family. We stand with every woman in the UK who has been forced by a hospital to abort their baby.

The Government must ensure no women and family will ever have to go through this again. We are here today to send a clear message to the Government. This must never happen again.”

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy, 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 and make it clear how they will ensure it will not happen again.”

Press release: Large numbers protest forced abortion decision outside Parliament, calling on Govt to ensure never happens again

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HIGH-RES PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT ARE AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA USE HERE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/150850874@N02/albums/72157709251313778 

Large numbers protest forced abortion decision outside Parliament, calling on Govt to ensure never happens again 

25 June 2019 – This evening, a Stand With Her demonstration was held outside Parliament in response to a ruling made last Friday 21st June where Justice Nathalie Lieven ordered that a woman with a learning disability who was 22 weeks pregnant must have an abortion against her will.

The demonstration outside Parliament was held to: 

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

Yesterday, after an appeal was brought forward, the original ruling was overturned when three Court of Appeal judges ruled that doctors must not perform an abortion on the woman with a learning disability. This is an absolutely brilliant outcome for the mother, her baby and their extended family.

However, 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. We must ensure that no women and family will ever have to go through this again. 

Speaking at the event, Emmi Egbonou, said: 

“What is shocking is that this was ever allowed to happen in the first place. The fact that the state can force a late-term abortion on a woman who did not want one is not the kind of state we want to live in. The fact that a judge could make a ruling to force an abortion on a vulnerable woman without her consent is a betrayal of the justice system and betrayal of the most vulnerable in our society. 

A forced late-term abortion would have been an irreversible trauma on the mother and would have ended the life of the baby that had been growing inside her womb for almost six months and, at 22 weeks, could survived outside the womb. 

We are here today to we stand with this woman. We stand with her baby. We stand with her family. We stand with every woman in the UK who has been forced by a hospital to abort their baby.

The Government must ensure no women and family will ever have to go through this again. We are here today to send a clear message to the Government. This must never happen again.”

Spokesperson for Right To Life UK, Clare McCarthy, 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 and make it clear how they will ensure it will not happen again.”

ENDS

MP compares Judge’s abortion ruling to forced abortion in China

Photo credit Adobe Stock:Pineapples

A number of pro-life MPs have spoken out against the “barbaric practice” of forced abortion in the UK. The comments came after a ruling on Friday June 21st where Justice Lieven ordered that a woman with a learning disability who is 22 weeks pregnant must have an abortion.

This ruling has since been overturned by a Court of Appeal on Monday 24th June. 

Sir Edward Leigh MP called on the British government to “take urgent action to ensure this barbaric practice is eliminated.”

He said this case was “the kind of thing we expect in the People’s Republic of China”, where forced abortions and sterilisations are common.

Sir Edward Leigh went on to say that it was “deeply disturbing to discover that forced abortions are not only legal in this country but that judges may order them.”

“Even more appalling is that a judge has ordered this even though the disabled, Catholic Nigerian woman who is pregnant has a mother who is willing to look after the grandchild as well,” he added.

“The government should take urgent action to ensure this barbaric practice is eliminated from this country and from all countries.”

Right To Life UK, who started a petition asking Health Secretary Matt Hancock to intervene in the case reaching over 120,00 signatures just three days after launching, have organised a demonstration to take place outside Parliament on the evening of Tuesday 25th June at 6.30pm calling for clear safeguards to prevent this kind of ruling from happening again.

Despite the success of the petition, Jacob Rees-Mogg acknowledged that in this case there was little chance of a ministerial intervention, saying:

“This is deeply troubling but there is no Parliamentary route to challenging this decision.”

Clare McCarthy of Right to Life UK said:

We are thrilled that Justice Lieven’s decision has been overturned but remain concerned that she ever had the authority to make this kind of ruling in the first instance. While Parliament may not be able to directly interfere in the decisions of the judiciary, they can create legislation that stops of the judiciary from making this kind of decision in the first instance.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “This is a matter for the courts so it is not appropriate for us to comment on the case.”

(Photo credit Adobe Stock:Pineapples)

BMA calls for imposition of abortion on Northern Ireland

The British Medical Association (BMA) has pass a motion to remove almost all legal safeguards surrounding abortion and has called for the extension of abortion to Northern Ireland.

In a vote at the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) in Belfast, medical professionals voted to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, as well as extend the provision of abortion to Northern Ireland.

This vote was essentially a restatement of the BMA ARM in 2017 which also voted to remove all legal safeguards in abortion legislation.

There are strong pro-life protections in Northern Ireland where abortion remains a devolved issue. This means that the 1967 Abortion Act does not apply and there are 100,000 people alive today because of this.

Speeches opposed to the motion to extend abortion provision to Northern Ireland focused on the need to respect the fact that abortion remains a devolved issue – the decision as to the abortion law in Northern Ireland remains a decision for the Parliamentary Assembly there, and it is not the prerogative of Westminster or other lobby groups to force such legislation on the region.

The most recent vote on this in 2016, showed that a clear majority of the Northern Ireland Assembly, upheld the law on abortion as it currently stands and the majority of women in Northern Ireland remain opposed to anyone other than the people of Northern Ireland and their elected representatives.

Clare McCarthy from Right To Life UK said:

Although the passing of this motion by the BMA to remove legal safeguards in the abortion law and to extend abortion provision to Northern Ireland is disappointing, it is essentially a reiteration of votes from previous years.”

“The majority of women in Northern Ireland have made clear that they do not want outside intervention to force abortion on Northern Ireland and expect it to remain a decision for the people their. We hope that the BMA will respect devolution in the future.”