British Court Orders Disabled Woman to Have Abortion Against Her Will (UPDATED)
Update 3:47 p.m. EST: An appeals court in London on Monday overruled the decision by a lower court judge to force a disabled woman to have an abortion:
A British court has ruled that a mentally challenged woman must be forced to have an abortion against her will and her family's religious beliefs.
The case, which was decided on Friday, was brought to court by a National Health Service trust that oversees the disabled woman’s care.
Both the pregnant woman and her mother are against abortion, as it is against their Catholic faith.
The grandmother is reportedly a retired midwife and a Catholic member of the Nigerian Igbo community. She offered to care for her grandchild when it is born, but the pro-abortion activist lawyer-turned judge in the case, Justice Nathalie Lieven, decided that it would be "too difficult for the grandmother to look after both the daughter and the grandchild," according to the Catholic Herald.
The woman’s doctors argued that an abortion was in her “best interests”. But her social worker disagreed, and her legal team said there was “no proper evidence” to show this.
Her legal team said that, although they accepted the woman was unable to give or withhold consent, the woman’s own mother believed that doctors “underestimated [her] ability and understanding, and that more weight should be place on her wishes and feelings.”
Welcome to the wonderful world of state-run healthcare.
In her ruling, Lieven said, “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 … [but] I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination.”
The woman's unborn child is 22 weeks old.
The editors of the Catholic Herald implored the Bishops of England and Wales to speak out against this travesty.
The @CatholicHerald respectfully asks the Bishops of England and Wales to speak out immediately and with great force against the abominable forced abortion ordered by a court in London. Their relative silence has dismayed our readers in both the UK and US.
— Catholic Herald (@CatholicHerald) June 23, 2019
Will a single bishop of @catholicEW speak out against this English judge's ruling to force a women to abort her baby against her will or the will of the family?
Please speak out no matter the consequences https://t.co/uDgbXNiM5d
— Nick Donnelly (@ProtecttheFaith) June 23, 2019
Abortions in England and Wales reached their highest level in 2018, with over 200,608 abortions carried out, according to Britain's Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
Justice Lieven was appointed to the High Court in December of 2018.
For fifteen years before that, she championed a number of landmark abortion-related cases and helped expand legal abortion in the U.K., pro-life activist Obianuju Ekeocha reported at First Things.
In 2005 Lieven represented the Family Planning Association (FPA), the U.K. member association of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, in a case where she argued fervently against the need for parents to consent to giving abortion or contraception advice to children under sixteen.
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.
In 2011 she fought for the cause of at-home abortions, representing the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS)—the largest British abortion provider. In the case BPAS v Secretary of Health Lieven argued that women should be allowed to self-administer the second dose of abortion drugs at home.
From 2015 to 2018, Lieven represented the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission as it launched legal action against Northern Ireland's government, arguing that their pro-life law violated the human rights of women and girls.
As lead counsel for NIHRC, Lieven argued that the laws protecting the unborn breached entitlements to privacy and rights to freedom from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, and discrimination under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Ekeocha, herself a Catholic Nigerian living in the United Kingdom, opined that Lieven's cruel ruling -- which comes barely six months into her tenure on the bench -- exposes the tyranny of the pro-abortion regime.
"In a society that has decided the unborn have no rights, the worth and life of the unborn are determined by the most powerful," Ekeocha noted.