A U.K. appeals court has overturned an earlier ruling by the U.K. Court of Protections mandating that a mentally disabled woman have a forced second-trimester abortion against her will, despite the fact that the woman's own mother had offered to care for the child.
The NHS Trust, a branch within the U.K.’s National Health Service, had requested a judge order a forced abortion for the Nigerian Catholic woman, who they claim has significant developmental disabilities and a mood disorder. The woman, who hasn’t been publicly named, is reportedly to be in her early 20s and is 22 weeks pregnant. Reports are unclear how she got pregnant in the first place, a circumstance the police are said to be investigating.
Doctors arguing their case to the court said they wanted to abort the woman’s baby against her own wishes, citing her mental capacity to make her own decisions and pointing to concerns over her psychological wellbeing in having to carry and give birth to her baby.
The woman’s mother, also a Catholic and a former midwife, told the court that she would care for the child, saying both she and her daughter objected to the abortion on religious grounds.
Even still, on June 21 the Court of Protection’s radically pro-abortion Justice Nathalie Lieven ruled the NHS could proceed with the forced termination, claiming that even the option of having the baby and giving it up for adoption would be against the woman’s "best interests."
“I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,” Lieven reportedly said.
“I think [the woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed [for adoption]” because “it would at that stage be a real baby,” she added in her decision.
The decision spurred tens of thousands of people, even some pro-choice advocates, to sign a petition asking U.K. Health and Social Care Secretary Matthew Hancock to intervene in the case.
According to this, Lord Justice McCombe, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson on Monday overturned the decision thanks to an appeal brought by the woman's mother, saying they will give the reasoning behind their decision at a later date.