Baby was 21 weeks old when case first heard in Mid-March
By Dave Andrusko
A British High Court justice has given a 13-year-old girl the go ahead to abort her unborn baby, The Daily Mail reported last week.
Health authority bosses had asked Justice Nicholas Mostyn to determine whether the girl, identified only as “A,” had the capacity to make the abortion decision herself. “This was required to ensure that doctors and hospital trusts could not be sued if they carried out the medical procedure,” Ian Drury reported.
According to Drury, when the case went before the High Court as an emergency hearing in mid-March, “A” was already 21 weeks pregnant. Justice Mostyn’s decision came last Thursday.
In his ruling (which he made public Thursday), Mostyn argued by analogy. The law allows a child under 16 to be given contraception “if they had ‘sufficient understanding and intelligence.’” He added that this was so even if it might lead her to take steps “wholly contrary to her best interests.”
A consulting psychiatrist interviewed “A” and he/she concluded that the girl had ‘a very clear understanding of her position and of the options that were available to her,” the justice wrote. The consulting psychiatrist said she had conveyed her wish to abort as “she felt that she could not cope with its continuance and it would stress her to a considerable degree.”
In addition, the psychiatrist said the girl was not being coerced by her parents or grandmother.
Mostyn then concluded that he was “completely satisfied’ that A had the mental capacity to decide whether to have an abortion.
Mostyn added that at present “A” intends to abort and that her family would be by her side “to assist her and support her after what is inevitably going to be an unpleasant and traumatic experience.”
“A” lives with her parents, the Daily Mail reported. She thought she had only gained a “little weight,” and did not realize she was pregnant until “her grandmother spotted her growing bump and took her for medical tests,” Drury reported.”
An added fact, tucked away in the story, is that “If the girl was not capable of fully understanding the situation, the local authority would be allowed to terminate the pregnancy if doctors believed it was in her best interests.”