LONDON, November 24, 2003 ( – The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has given his “full backing” to an Anglican priestess, who is taking legal action over a late term abortion of a baby with a cleft palate.  Rev. Joanna Jepson, a curate of St Michael’s church in Chester, told The Telegraph that in a meeting with the archbishop last year, he told her “May I just say how supportive I am and you’ve got my full backing.”  The High Court is to hear the case December 1.  Rev. Jepson, 27, is taking court action against the police for failing to charge a doctor who carried out an abortion on a 24 week gestation unborn child with a cleft palate. The curate herself had a congenital jaw disorder that was later corrected with surgery, moreover she has a 25-year-old brother with Downs Syndrome.  In comments to the media Rev. Jepson said, “I want to see a clarification of the law so that abortions do not take place for trivial reasons and so that discrimination against the disabled does not become widely accepted.  We need to resist the belief that the value of human life lies in physical perfection and have a wider understanding of disabilities so that disability is not seen purely in negative terms.” In other comments she said, “I just find it reprehensible to think that we could lose our lives for something which is only about physical perfection.”  The Archbishop was unavailable for comment.  See the Telegraph coverage:


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