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.
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- 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