A Judge in the United Kingdom has ruled that a mentally disabled woman pregnant mother must be forced to go through with an abortion against her will after doctors decided that abortion will be less traumatic for her than childbirth.
Justice Nathalie Lieven admitted that her decision was an “immense intrusion” but believed abortion is 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,” the justice said. “I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination.”
She added, “I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll.” She also agreed with the assessment of the doctors. “I think [the woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed [from her care],” she said citing that the baby will have to be put in foster care.
The unidentified woman is reported to be in her 20s and is 22 weeks pregnant, and suffers from developmental disabilities that have left her with the mental capacity of a grade school-aged child. How she got pregnant is being investigated by the Police as well.
The mother of the pregnant woman is strongly against abortion due to her Catholic beliefs and reportedly, has said that she will take care of the baby after its birth. Barrister John McKendrick, head of the legal team for the pregnant woman’s mother, says the court has “no proper evidence” that having an abortion will be beneficial to the pregnant mother. “Their evidence is premised on a narrow clinical view. The application must be dismissed,” he said.
The head of the opposition camp, Fiona Paterson, argued that the abortion was in the best interests of the mother. “A termination is in her best interests. In broad terms [they] believe that as a result of her learning disabilities … [she] is likely to find the loss of pregnancy easier to recover from than separation from the baby if he or she is taken into care,” Paterson said.
The mother of the pregnant woman is reported to be a registered midwife and informed the Court and the doctors that she will take care of the baby. However, the Justice believes she won’t be able to take care of her daughter and grandchild simultaneously.