HEREFORDSHIRE, England, May 10, 2004 ( – West Mercia Police are opening a criminal investigation into a late term abortion that occurred in 1991. Dr. Michael Cohn at Hereford County Hospital aborted the baby at 28 weeks gestation upon the request of the parents who didn’t want a child with a cleft lip and palate. 24 weeks gestation is the legal limit in the UK for abortion of children without “serious handicap.”

Church of England curate, Joanna Jepson, requested a criminal investigation which police initially refused. After Rev. Jepson had obtained a High Court judicial review of that decision, police have this week decided to proceed. The investigation will put on indefinite hold her High Court action which was due to commence May 24. Jepson said yesterday: “I have had to agree to this because there is case law to say that the judicial review could not go ahead while an investigation is in process.”  Dr. Cohn was not available for comment and the hospital refused to say if he was at work or not. Police could charge him under the Offenses Against the Human Person Act with a possible penalty of up to life imprisonment.

Read Telegraph coverage: