LONDON, October 18, 2001 ( – A British judge has ruled that a 23+ week pregnant woman with schizophrenia is better off having a normal birth instead of a late-term abortion. Although the woman, who cannot be named, applied for an abortion, the judge noted that “None of the professional witnesses is able to say that a termination now is likely to be less traumatic and damaging to the applicant’s physical and mental health than a normal delivery followed by removal of the child.”

Mr Justice Wall at the high court in Manchester said, “The applicant recognised that she could not care for the child she is carrying. She says that sometimes she is worried that if she has the baby, she will kill it. She has repeated this to a number of people. She has also described the baby as dead.” Far from a pro-life ruling, the judge indicated his ruling may have been different if the case had come before him earlier. The Guardian newspaper reports “he said the nature of the treatment required to terminate pregnancies at more than 23 weeks had been a ‘powerful factor’ in his decision.” The judge said that, since abortion at such a late stage would be painful and traumatic, and the woman might later grieve over her loss, he had concluded, “not without hesitation”, that the disadvantages outweighed the advantages.

For more see the Guardian at:,3604,576093,00.html


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