Evangelical Alliance concerned at Court’s intervention in abortion case

On Friday, a UK Judge ruled that an abortion should be carried out on a Catholic woman in her twenties who suffers from a moderate to severe learning disability. This despite the fact that the women herself wanted to continue with the pregnancy and was supported by her mother and social worker. This case raises some sensitive yet disturbing questions around abortion, disability, consent, religious freedom, the role of parents, the state and the courts.

The full social work and medical reports behind the decision in this judgment are not in the public domain but media reports on the case highlight significant concerns. It was doctors at the Trust who raised the issue of abortion as being in the best interests of the patient even though there is no suggestion of medical necessity. It was only at this point that the Court of Protection became involved.

Peter Lynas from the Evangelical Alliance said:

“The women, her mother and her social worker all want the pregnancy to continue. The judge does not appear to have considered the trauma of a forced abortion, the loss of life to the unborn child and the significant long-term consequences for the family of this decision. Pregnancy is being presented as a problem and termination is being presented as the expedient solution.

“There are undoubtedly difficult challenges around the circumstances of this pregnancy and the judge acknowledged her ruling was ‘an immense intrusion’. It is deeply worrying that the result is a woman being forced to have an abortion against her will. The case also raises concerns around religious freedom. The woman’s mother, reported to be a former midwife, has registered her opposition to abortion citing the Catholic faith of herself and her daughter.

“The case would appear to set a worrying precedent around the freedoms and rights of those with intellectual disabilities, their families and even their social workers. We would prefer to see medical professionals and public bodies working together to help the family by putting in place better systems of support to enable all the lives to flourish.”

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About the Evangelical Alliance

We are the Evangelical Alliance. We join together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals for the sake of the gospel. Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.

We love Jesus and we want everyone in the UK to be given an opportunity to know Him.

We love His church, and we will do all we can to unite evangelicals, building confidence in the gospel and speaking as a trusted voice into society to see it changed for Him.

Working across the UK, with offices in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, our members come together from across denominations, locations, age groups and ethnicities, all sharing a passion to know Jesus and make Him known.