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Woman No Longer Forced To Have Abortion After English Court Of Appeal Ruling

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • British Justice Nathalie Lieven ordered Friday that a disabled woman have a forced abortion.
  • The English Court of Appeal overturned this ruling Monday, promising details later.
  • Pro-life groups reacted to both announcements, denouncing Justice Lieven for her ruling.

The English Court of Appeal overturned a court order that would have forced a Catholic disabled woman to have an abortion against her will, according to the Guardian.

The court, composed of Lord Justice Richard McCombe, Lady Justice Eleanor King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson, overturned the Court of Protection ruling Monday mandating the procedure, the Guardian reports.

British Justice Nathalie Lieven ruled Friday that the woman, who has the mental age of a child between 6 and 9, must have a forced abortion. The woman is in her 20’s and is 22 weeks pregnant, according to the New York Times. Authorities are currently investigating how she was impregnated.

The NHS trust that is responsible for care of the pregnant woman requested doctors perform the abortion, UK-based Sky News reported.

“I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the State to order a woman to have a termination where it appears that she doesn’t want it is an immense intrusion,” Lieven said Friday according to the Times at the Court of Protection. The court typically makes decisions for persons who cannot make decisions for themselves.

Lieven says she must act in the woman’s “best interests, not on society’s views of termination” and that the woman would not understand what it meant to give birth. (RELATED: These Abortion Survivors Have A Message For Planned Parenthood’s Leana Wen)

The woman’s mother is Catholic and cited both her own and her daughter’s religious beliefs in her protests against the decision. The mother is a former midwife from Nigeria who wishes to care for the child, according to the Times. The woman’s mother, her social worker, and her lawyers all protested against Lieven’s ruling.

The decision comes after the pregnant woman’s mother challenged Lieven’s ruling, and the justices will reveal more details at a later date, the Guardian reported.

“This is amazing news,” said John Deighan, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Deputy CEO in a Facebook post Monday.

“The initial decision to form an abortion on a disabled woman against her will, when her mother had promised to look after the child, caused shock and outrage around the world.”

“A forced abortion is one of the worst things that can be done to a woman,” Dieghan added, “and it is beggars belief that a judge of this land advocated this kind of cruelty and barbarity.”

Pro-life leaders spoke out against the initial ruling, protesting against Lieven and her previous rulings on abortion.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan to intervene in what Rubio called “a clear human rights violation.”

“I urge your Departments to quickly investigate this case and, within all applicable laws and regulations, to offer assistance to her and her mother,” Rubio wrote in a letter provided to the DCNF Monday. (RELATED: Rubio Pushes Trump Admin To Save Unborn Baby And Disabled Mother Forced To Have An Abortion)

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the group is thankful and relieved that both the mother and her child will be spared “a monstrous injustice.”

“Justice Lieven’s order reeks of eugenics and is the type of oppression one would expect to see under a totalitarian regime, like China’s brutal state-enforced population control,” Dannenfelser said in a statement thanking Rubio for his pro-life leadership.

“Such a ruling could not occur in a vacuum – it exposes a culture of devaluation of human life and prejudice toward individuals with disabilities, right up to the most elite levels of society,” Dannenfelser added.

Live Action founder and President Lila Rose tweeted about the incident on Friday.

“Where is the outcry from ‘pro-choice’ groups?” Rose asked. “From feminists? Where is her ‘choice’? Why does this baby deserve to die? This Nigerian woman is being violated, her baby torn from her womb by force, and it’s England’s ‘healthcare’ system that’s doing it as the world looks on.”

“This is the most extraordinary violation and overbearing ruling that I have ever seen,” said Liz Parson, Head of Advocacy at the British charity Life. “We are greatly concerned about this ruling.”

NHS declined to comment on the matter to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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