We are well familiar with the hard cases our strict pro-life law produced, the X-case for example. They were massively publicised. Our new abortion law has already produced its own hard case, that of the baby who was aborted at Holles Street after being mistakenly diagnosed to have a ‘fatal foetal abnormality’. This has caused no real media or political outcry. Now we have a case in the UK of a court imposing abortion on a woman with “moderate to severe” learn difficulties because it is in her ‘best interests’.
She is 22 weeks pregnant, and so the baby will most likely by killed via a lethal injection to the heart and then delivered.
The woman’s mother, who is a former midwife, is happy to care for her grandchild and expressed her opposition to abortion citing the family’s Catholic faith.
The lawyers that represent the disabled woman, and the social worker who helps her, are also against the termination. Nonetheless, doctors from the National Health Service Trust that takes care of her have deemed that having an abortion would be less traumatic than having a baby and the baby being put into foster care.
Obviously, the best interests of the unborn baby has not entered into Justice Nathalie Lieven’s consideration at all, and the wishes of her family, social worker and lawyers have been given short shrift.
Justice Lieven has appeared in court as a lawyer in some landmark cases regarding abortion. In the past she has represented the Family Planning Association and BPAS, the largest abortion provider in the UK.
In 2005, Justice Lieven argued that “parents are no longer the best people to advise children on contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and abortions, and that they have no right to know if their children under age sixteen are seeking treatment.”
But here we have doctors effectively acting as this woman’s parents. She agreed with them.
A case like this could easily happen here. The ‘mental health’ is now a justification for abortion and the interests of the unborn baby no longer carry any real weight.
Even based on pro-choice logic, the judge could easily have come to a different decision. She could have decided that it is in the woman’s best interest to have the baby and that performing an abortion she does not want would be traumatic.
Justice Lieven’s shocking ruling can only be understood in a culture where abortion has been normalised (more than 200,000 last year in Britain) and the public conscience is numbed to the barbarity of killing a perfectly healthy foetus at 22 weeks. In ruling for the ‘best interest’ of this woman, Justice Lieven perfectly embodied the inevitable consequences for people deemed to lack capacity to decide for themselves; other will make the choice and the decision will often to be kill.
This decision was overturned on appeal.