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Court Orders Woman With Limited Mental Capacity To Abort Child Against Her Will

Court Orders Woman With Limited Mental Capacity To Abort Child Against Her Will

A court in the United Kingdom ruled against the wish of a woman in her twenties and asked her to terminate her 22-week pregnancy even though her family said they would support her.

A court in the United Kingdom recently ordered a woman in her twenties to abort her 22-week pregnancy despite her family's objection. What sparked a major controversy was the fact that the judge ruled against the wishes of the woman who has the mental capacity of a child aged between six and nine reported The Independent. Police officials are still in the process of uncovering how the woman fell pregnant in the first place. 



 

 

According to a report by the outlet, Justice Nathalie Lieven was overseeing the proceedings of the case. Last Friday, she came to the decision that it was in the pregnant woman's best interest to abort the baby. The ruling was also influenced by the fact that the "circumstances of the conception [were] unclear." Lieven also noted the woman's intentions to give birth to her child. However, she opined that they "operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination."



 

 

"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," said Lieven. Even though the mother seemed eager to keep the child, the court believed she was not mentally fit to take on the responsibility of a baby as she kept saying how "she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll." The court also took into consideration that the woman lived with her mother in London.



 

 

They were also informed about her learning and mood disorders. The judge heard the case at the  Court of Protection, which was specifically designed to resolve issues related to people with reduced mental capacity. Although the woman whose name was not released was keen on taking charge, the other factors did not add up on her side resulting in the justice's decision. 



 

 

Apart from the woman, her mother who used to be a midwife too was against the decision to halt the pregnancy. She went to the extent of offering her services to care for the child while being a constant source of assistance to her daughter. After hearing her proposal, the judge noted that this arrangement would not sit well with social workers who were most likely to reject this request mainly due to the pregnant lady's psychological limitations which posed certain threats. 



 

 

She further pointed to the fact that if the mother were to take charge of her daughter's baby, then the woman would have to leave the house for the safety of her grandchild. In addition to this, Lieven also drew the courtroom's attention to the possibility of the child being put up for adoption or enrolled in the foster care system if or when the family could not provide the proper care it actually required. She added that the pain of letting go of her child after birth would turn out to be an extremely difficult endeavor as compared to aborting it right now. 



 

 

"I think [she] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed," said Lieven. "It would at that stage be a real baby." Further elaborating on this matter. she said, "Pregnancy, although real to her, doesn’t have a baby outside her body she can touch." After the proceeding came to a conclusion, the NHS Trust which works in the interest of the woman, agreed to proceed with the abortion. However, the lawyers and a social worker who was representing the woman had a contrasting view. According to them, the woman should have been allowed to continue with her pregnancy. 



 

 

Judge Lieven knows only too well how it's never an easy task to take an "enormous" decision keeping the woman's best interests in mind.  During the proceeding, some "heartbreaking" evidence came to light. However, she was adamant that the woman did not have the capacity to fully understand what having a baby even meant.



 

 

This ruling, however, caused great outrage amongst several people including the founder and president of Culture of Life Africa, Obianuju Ekeocha who condemned this decision and regarded it as "murder disguised as care." Ekeocha wrote, "We should be outraged that a government-affiliated health establishment is fighting to kill a fully developed baby against the wishes of the mother and grandmother, and also that Justice Nathalie Lieven—who has admitted that all evidence indicates the disabled woman wants to keep her baby—has ruled that the child should be aborted," 



 

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