Bishop Sherrington’s statement after UK court orders abortion

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Following the decision by a UK court to order a woman to have an abortion, Bishop John Sherrington said:

“Every abortion is a tragedy. This tragedy is compounded in the case of the recent legal decision of the Court of Protection to rule that a mother, who is in her 20s and has a ‘moderately severe’ learning disability and who wishes to keep her child at 22 weeks, must have an abortion.

“The natural birth of her child is supported by her mother – who has said she will care for the child – her social worker, and her legal team.

“Forcing a woman to have an abortion against her will, and that of her close family, infringes her human rights, not to mention the right of her unborn child to life in a family that has committed to caring for this child. In a free society like ours there is a delicate balance between the rights of the individual and the powers of the state.

“This is a sad and distressing decision for the whole family whom we keep in our prayers. This case, for which all the information is not available, raises serious questions about the meaning of ‘best interests’ when a patient lacks mental capacity and is subject to the court’s decision against her will.”