A British judge who caused a furor after ruling that a developmentally disabled adult woman must have a late-term abortion was a lawyer advocate for a U.K. pro-abortion group that argued in 2005 that parents have no right to decide what is best for their children when it comes to sexual matters.
Child-Like Adult Can’t Decide
Justice Nathalie Lieven shockingly ruled on June 21 that a woman in her 20s with the mental capacity of a child must undergo an abortion despite being almost six months pregnant. The woman is under care provided by the U.K.’s National Health Service. State-affiliated doctors argued that an abortion would be less traumatic than giving birth. This is despite the fact that she wants to have the baby and that her mother said she would help care for it. Lieven sided with the government’s right to make the call.
“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 in her ruling. “I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination.”
An appeals court has already overturned Lieven’s horrific ruling, yet it marks another small milestone on the path to state control over life-and-death decisions. Lieven has a track record of pushing abortion rights as a matter of “freedom,” having led a legal effort to overturn Northern Ireland’s laws against abortion. But she seems far more enthusiastic about using abortion as a means of increasing Big Brother’s authority than in furthering individual autonomy.
Kids Need Guidance Without Parents
In 2005, Lieven served as an activist lawyer with the pro-abortion Family Planning Association (FPA). She made waves by declaring in a court hearing that parents of a pregnant teen under the age of 16 have no right to be informed of their child’s condition or any decision she might make to abort the pregnancy. Lieven argued that the notion that parents know what is best for their own child was “years out of date” and an affront to the right of a child to decide for herself. “There is no doubt whatsoever that a child has a right to confidentiality,” Lieven told the court, the Daily Mail reported at the time. “A parent’s rights cannot override a child’s rights.”
Lieven asserted that parents with moral qualms might thwart the child’s ability to seek what she deems to be the correct guidance from professionals outside the family. “Why then should a child search for help from a doctor in confidence, only to have that overturned by a parent’s assertion of rights? How can parental rights trump the right of the child, in that situation, to get the help she needs?”
Lieven was stating unequivocally that a girl has a right to keep even what Lieven termed as “perfectly loving” parents totally in the dark about her sexual activity and/or pregnancy, and that medical officials must back the child’s decision. “If a child does not want parents to know, it is impossible to say it is in her best interests for them to be told against her will,” Lieven insisted.
Lieven undoubtedly was aware that such a situation puts an impressionable child outside the scope of her own family and makes her fully open to the manipulations of U.K. government-affiliated medical officials and pro-abortion “social workers” of the type frequently found in schools these days. The lawyer for the mother of a pregnant young teen who advocated for parental authority certainly had no doubts where Lieven was heading with her arguments.
“One can ask the question, if parents are not the best people to advise their child, who is?” attorney Philip Havers asked aloud. “Is it the FPA? Is it social workers? Who provides children with the relevant advice, guidance and wisdom if not their own parents?”
Almost a full 14 years later, Lieven has finally answered Havers’ question. A disabled woman with the mind of a child has no right to give birth to the baby she is carrying inside her, but a pregnant 14-year-old has every right to kill that baby without her parents even being informed. The logic may seem paradoxical, but Lieven was and still is pursuing the same goal. For such radical activists, the state is the new parent.
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