Court of Protection orders abortion of 23-week baby
A guest post from Sister Tiberia:
This is a heartbreaking story.
It concerns a woman for whom one can have nothing but the utmost sympathy. She is 37 years old and suffers from bipolar disorder. Don't underestimate what that does to someone - the depths of depressive illness where on the down-swings even getting out of bed is more than the sufferer is reasonably capable of; the days where suicide seems like the only possible choice of a rational mind. If there is truly a hell, then the long-term sufferers of this condition have endured it on earth.
She is also 23 weeks pregnant, and wants to abort the child.
The case has gone all the way to the High Court.
From the Daily Mail:
She said she would try to commit suicide if she was unable to terminate the pregnancy.But the High Court Judge, Mr Justice Holman, has ruled against the doctors, and stated that she is capable of making the decision.
'I would seek to kill myself and the baby,' she said. 'I have pretty much had enough of the whole situation. The only way they could force me to have the pregnancy is by tying me down and locking me up.'
Mr Justice Holman heard evidence from the woman, a consultant psychiatrist involved in her care, from a lawyer representing her husband and from her mother.
The psychiatrist said he was '100 per cent certain' that the woman lacked the capacity to make a decision about termination.
A lawyer representing her husband, who was at the hearing, said he agreed with the psychiatrist's evaluation.
Her mother also agreed with the psychiatrist and said she feared that her daughter might later regret seeking a termination."
She is 23 weeks pregnant.
Let nobody be in any doubt as to what that means: we are talking about a child which with excellent intensive care is capable of survival outside the womb. And every subsequent week raises the chances of survival. The implication of the article is that the woman has already been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, since it speaks of her distress at imprisonment (her words).
This decision by the judge beggars belief. And the end result may well be two deaths.
Look up the statistics of suicide after abortion. They're grim.
Garfinkel, et al., Stress, Depression and Suicide: A Study of Adolescents in Minnesota, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Extension Service, 1986) - researchers found a teenage girl is 10 times more likely to attempt suicide if she has had an abortion in the last six months than is a comparable teenage girl who has not had an abortion.
Reardon, A Survey of Psychological Reactions, (Springfield, IL: Elliot Institute, 1987) - this found that 60 percent of women with 'post-abortion trauma' had experienced suicidal thoughts, 28 per cent had attempted suicide, and 18 per cent had attempted suicide more than once.
If you want (or can bear) to read a British Medical Journal article on the subject, try HERE - a 14-day free trial gives access. The writers are looking at the deterioration of mental health after an induced abortion.
Now ask yourself - just what country are we living in? Why is it not possible to support this poor woman for the few more weeks it would take to deliver this pregnancy safely? If she wants then to give up the child for adoption - fine. If she changes her mind (and believe me, people with bipolar disorder do, often) then there are support organisations which will help her if she wants to keep the child.
But dead is dead. And if she goes through with the abortion, then I hope to God they have her on suicide watch for that moment when the realisation hits, together with the post-natal depression.
Poor, poor woman. Poor, poor baby. Is there no way out of this double disaster before it becomes a double tragedy?