The English Court of Appeals has reversed a decision to force a woman with developmental disabilities to have an abortion, overturning a decision from Justice Nathalie Lieven on June 21 in England's Court of Protection. The woman in question is 22 weeks pregnant, meaning the abortion would've been late-term. In her ruling, Lieven explained that she "has to operate" in the woman's "best interests, not on society's views of termination.” She reportedly accepted the opinion of NHS trust, which concluded that an abortion would be less traumatic for the pregnant woman than giving birth.
In its overturning, the Court of Appeals ruled that “doctors must not be allowed to perform an abortion on a pregnant mentally-ill woman."
Pro-life advocates were outraged over the initial ruling, including those here across the pond. On Monday, before the Court of Appeals's reversal, Rubio sent an urgent letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan asking them to grant the pregnant woman a temporary non-immigrant visa to seek alternative medical care here in the States.
"I write with grave concern about the case of a 22-week pregnant Catholic woman with developmental disabilities in the United Kingdom who—against the wishes of her and her Nigerian-origin mother—is being required by a British court to undergo a forced late-term abortion, in what I believe to be a clear human rights violation," Rubio wrote. "I urge your Departments to quickly investigate this case and, within all applicable laws and regulations, to offer assistance to her and her mother in seeking alternative medical care either in the United States through a temporary non-immigrant visa or through humanitarian parole for a temporary period due to this urgent humanitarian emergency, or at medical facilities in a third country that will not compel her to undergo a forced late-term abortion."
Pro-life groups commended Rubio for bringing attention to the case, because he just may have had something to do with the UK's change of heart.
“We are thankful and relieved that mother and child will be spared a monstrous injustice,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “Forced abortion is a horrific violation of the human rights of both unborn children and their mothers. 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. 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. The silence of the abortion lobby and their political allies on this atrocity is deafening. We thank Senator Rubio for his pro-life leadership and will never rest in our fight to end the violence of abortion.”