British doctors may perform an abortion on a developmentally disabled, 22-week pregnant woman against her will, a judge ruled Friday in the United Kingdom, according to the Press Association.
The woman’s disability leads medical officials to believe she has the mental capacity of a child in elementary school, and she remains under the care of the British National Health Service trust.
Both the unidentified woman, reportedly “in her twenties” and of Nigerian descent, her Catholic mother and her state social worker oppose the abortion, according to the Catholic News Agency.
The state, however, has deemed the pregnant mother mentally unfit to make decisions for herself and assumes control of such major decisions through the Court of Protection.
The ruling judge, Nathalie Lieven, conceded in her decision that the ruling is an “immense intrusion,” but that it must be undertaken as the woman’s choice was not in her own “best interests.”
“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,” Lieven wrote in her decision, according to the Press Association.
“I have to operate in (her) best interests not on society’s views of termination,” the judge continued.
Lieven proceeded, arguing that the unprecedented decision had to be made because the woman could not possibly understand the weight of having a child or what being a parent “meant.”
Ignoring the humanity of the unborn, the judge focuses solely on the woman’s mental state, concluding that she does not know the difference between “nice doll” and a living breathing baby — and employing that determination to opt for the death of the child.
“I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,” Lieven said.
Another pretext to Lieven’s decision was the woman’s inability to care for the child alone.
This led Lieven to indicate the state would have no alternative but to remove the child from her mother — which in the judge’s mind would apparently be a worse scenario than forcibly performing a dismemberment abortion traditionally carried out on a woman in her second trimester.
Reports indicate that the woman’s own mother put herself forward as a potential caregiver to the baby, allowing for her and her daughter to raise the child together.
The court shot this decision down, falling back on its original argument and suggesting that without the baby visibly in front of her, the child is not even “real” yet.
“I think (she) would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed,” the judge. “It would at that stage be a real baby.”
“Pregnancy, although real to her, doesn’t have a baby outside her body she can touch.”
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