High Court rules against coerced abortion of disabled mother

Mr. Justice Hedley, presiding at the Court of Protection at London’s High Court, has ruled against a request made by NHS doctors that they be allowed to forcibly abort the baby of a disabled mother.

‘Mr. Justice Hedley ruled that the child should not be killed, saying that even if his mother cannot care for him, society has the ability. Hedley, ruling for the Court of Protection at London’s High Court, said that it is in the woman’s “best interests” to allow her to “continue with the pregnancy.”

Hedley said that even if people with mental disabilities cannot take part in court proceedings on their own behalf, they “may very well retain the capacity to make deeply personal decisions about how they conduct their lives.” These could include decisions about their own medical care, including “termination of pregnancy.”

“My instincts are that (her limited mental function) has nothing to do with the issue of whether a pregnancy should continue simply because once the child is born, if the mother doesn’t have the ability to care for a child, society has perfectly adequate processes to deal with that.

“I’m anxious about there being brought into capacity assessments… the ability to care for a child in the future,” the Independent newspaper quoted the judge saying.

Protect the Pope comment:  It appears from the report of the case in the press that the NHS doctors were seeking to forcibly abort this mother’s baby because they judged that she did not have the mental capacity to care for the baby.  This contradicts the pre-trial argument that the NHS  released to the media which claimed they were seeking a coerced abortion because of potential threats to the mother’s health. Why would they hide their real motive for seeking permission to abort this mother’s baby against her wishes?

Thank God Mr. Justice Hedley had the compassion, conscience and commonsense to see through their ruse and realise that this case was about the right of the unborn child to be born, not about the mental capacity of the mother.  His ruling that the State could care for the baby if the mother is unable has profound implications for the debate about abortion, because it re-introduces the possibility of the State offering adoption as an alternative to abortion:

‘My instincts are that (her limited mental function) has nothing to do with the issue of whether a pregnancy should continue simply because once the child is born, if the mother doesn’t have the ability to care for a child, society has perfectly adequate processes to deal with that.’

He was also concerned not to establish the legal precedent that the ability to care for a child would become a factor in the legal assessment of capacity, which would open the flood-gates for other NHS doctors seeking to force mothers to undergo abortions against their wills. Mr Justice Hedley deserves our thanks and prayers.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/no-forced-abortion-for-mentally-handicapped-woman-rules-uk-court?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9d007e030b-LifeSiteNews_com_Intl_Headlines_01_09_2013&utm_medium=email

 

 

5 comments to High Court rules against coerced abortion of disabled mother

  • Karla

    Fact that this even had to go to court shows there is something seriously wrong in society. I am so fed up of hearing of doctors recommending abortion, it is so shameful to their profession which should uphold the original hypocratic oath -

    ‘I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.’

  • Joseph Matthew

    The Royal College of Psychiatrists has stated that those at risk of psychological disorders before abortion are at risk of psychological trauma after abortion. On this basis alone, she should never have been put in this situation. I wonder how many suffer psychological trauma after FORCED abortion ?

  • ms Catholic state

    Thank God for small mercies. The NHS continues to court bad publicity with their barbaric ways. Seriously disgusted.

  • Rosemary Cantwell

    18 January 2013
    Dear HHJ Hedley
    What a wonderful judgement of Solomon. May you find a way for this mother to be helped to care for her own baby even if this means that someone gives BOTH of them 24 hour care because the mother wants to love this baby and the baby will want its mother.

    I pray for a happy outcome. A civilised society must help a family to stay together and be given physical assistance to stay together even if this means 24 hour care in sheltered accommodation.
    I pray for the family.
    God bless Amen
    Rosemary Cantwell

  • Kinga Grzeczynska

    I would suggest the following:

    If the hospital, where the doctors work, is a Foundation Status hospital, then the names of the doctors should be given to the Lead Governor and the Governing Council of the hospital. The Lead Governor could ask for the names also. A full investigation into Mr Justice Hedley’s Ruling should take place, and then the Lead Governor and the Governing Council should then decide upon the future of the doctor(s). If the hospital management do not comply with the Lead Governor’s request, I suggest a phone call to Monitor, the NHS Regulator would be in order.

    Do we want that kind of doctor working in our hospitals? That is the serious question.

    Kinga Grzeczynska

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