This is a dark, disturbing story.
The UK-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) reports that a UK Court of Protection Judge (ironic title, that) has ruled that doctors perform a forced surgical abortion on a cognitively challenged woman in her twenties.
The Court of Protection in London heard how an unidentified woman in her twenties, has the ‘mental capacity of a toddler’ and is believed to be 12 weeks pregnant. The judge has ordered a surgical abortion to be performed on the woman later this week, after hospital bosses urged the court to authorize the termination. Mr Justice Williams has ruled that medics can physically restrain the vulnerable woman, if necessary, in order to administer a general anesthetic and perform the abortion.
The SPUC also notes that police are investigating whether the pregnancy is the result of a sexual assault.
Of course, since the woman is said to have the mental capacity of a toddler, her ability to consent, despite her age, seems unlikely.
The anguish one feels about this woman, the child, and the situation is potent.
Surely, one could perceive this dilemma and the state’s decision to be predicated on the fact that this woman will be incapable of caring for her child, and the possibility that she will be incapable of understanding her own physical changes and needs as her body accommodates the life inside. And, perhaps, some might see this as even more complicated and in need of “state intervention” because she might have been sexually assaulted.
But, alternatively, there is another way to perceive this.
What if one sees the fetus not as a “potential” human, but as a human, from its inception. The new life has a right to exist, regardless of the person carrying it in or out of a womb. By any ethical standard, does the state have any just power to kill that new person?
The answer is no.
As SPUC notes, this is not the first time this judicial juggling of life and death for innocent human beings living in the womb has occurred.
This forced abortion case has occurred only months after a UK judge attempted to subject a 22-week pregnant woman to an abortion against her will. In June 2019, Judge Justice Lieven ordered doctors to carry out a late term abortion on a woman with learning difficulties, despite admitting it was against the woman’s will. The decision was later overturned by the Court of Appeal following a massive public outcry.
One can only hope that an appeal might stop this new mandate that state-funded doctors take the unborn life.
And there’s another aspect of the new case – of all such cases – that is not being explored.
How is it at all acceptable not only for the state to order the killing of a new human life, but for the state to mandate that taxpayers pay for the medical team required to do it?
These are clear lines of demarcation between those who believe in the sanctity of the individual and those who promote the power of the state. All that is needed for individuals to coexist is for them to act in peace.
For government to exist, it must use force.
Including the force to make pro-life people pay taxes to kill a defenseless, innocent child growing in the womb.
What if the child were born and in the mother’s arms?
Would the state order her to put it down, leave it in a dumpster? Hand it over to state-paid assassins to kill?
The purpose of life is life.
Regardless of the circumstances, any state that infringes on that principle is illegitimate.