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Judge in late abortion case linked to conservative Christian charity

(195 Posts)
HoleyGhost Fri 21-Sep-12 19:12:16

" A judge who criticised UK abortion policies while sentencing a woman to eight years in prison for performing her own abortion at a late stage in her pregnancy is one of at least five members of the judiciary with links to a Christian charity which has campaigned for more conservative abortion laws."

Thought this deserved a thread of its own.

edam Sat 22-Sep-12 17:14:41

I hope she appeals. We can't have judges riding roughshod over the law and imposing their personal prejudices on sentencing. We can't let people who should be banged up go free because the judge sympathises with them, not more than we can let people go free when they should be banged up.

Skippy, he is not correct. You may agree with him, that doesn't make him right. He had no place criticizing the law on abortion - legal abortion has nothing to do with this case. This is a case where a woman pleaded guilty to taking a drug designed to induce labour. It was not a legal abortion. The judge's anti-abortion opinions should have no bearing on it and have no place in a courtroom.

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 17:19:40

Skippy, pay no attention to Edam. She is a pro-abort ideologue and she is riding roughshod over the law herself. The judge's comments about "abortion on demand" reflected the very law Parliament passed. It is scum like Bpas and Stopes who kill vast numbers of foetuses ILLEGALLY by twisting the Act to make it sound like woman's personal WHIMS are sufficient for a "ground C" termination, which well over 90% of all TOPs are. The judge interprets ground C the correct way, the way the law says, not the "pro-choice" misinterpretation.

Oh, and another thing. The sentencing, for the last time, WAS NOT based on the imposition of PERSONAL PREJUDICE. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it prejudiced.

Animation Sat 22-Sep-12 17:21:56

Yes I hope she appeals about the sentencing. I have never heard of a mother going to jail for inducing labour and letting the baby die - and so 8 years in jail is unprecidented as far as I'm aware.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 22-Sep-12 17:26:30

Extro, practice within the UK is that if a woman dies not want to be pregnant, that is sufficient grounds to consider that continuing the pregnancy would cause danger to her mental and physical health. Please do not refer to BPAS and Marie Stopes as "scum" for following this practice.

Animation Sat 22-Sep-12 17:28:32

"The sentencing, for the last time, WAS NOT based on the imposition of PERSONAL PREJUDICE. Just because you don't like it doesn't make it prejudiced"

Extrospektiv - you seem very sure about that.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 22-Sep-12 17:32:47

Edam, I am not sure on what legal grounds she would appeal. She pleaded guilty to a crime that carried a maximum sentence of life. My understanding is that it is a crime to take such a substance at any point in pregnancy, so theoretically a 15 year old taking something at 8 weeks would be considered under the same crime. Therefore I assume that, as the pregnancy moves towards term, the severity of the sentence would increase towards the maximum, except for mitigating factors.

I think grounds for appeal might be that another judge could have viewed the psychiatric report differently or would have asked for a psychologist's report also (indeed I wish that, given her history, all avenues regarding mental health had been explored).

SkippyYourFriendEverTrue Sat 22-Sep-12 19:14:29

Really Edam? You don't think there is abortion on demand? Or you think that the Abortion Act provides for it?

Rowanhart Sat 22-Sep-12 19:33:55

Toaster I know exactly what you mean.

mellen Sat 22-Sep-12 20:24:03


What evidence do you have for stating that 90% of terminations are under ground C?

edam Sat 22-Sep-12 20:33:29

Extro, people are allowed to disagree with you, you know. When you have to resort to extremist inflammatory language and personal attacks, you are conceding that you are on the losing side of an argument.

I am indeed pro-choice. You seem to have difficulty grasping the difference between pro-choice - the belief that women have a fundamental right to control their own bodies - and pro-abortion. I'd rather no-one ever needed an abortion, tbh. But we live in an imperfect world, where things like rape exist, and horrible medical conditions that mean unborn babies would suffer horribly and die after birth. Abortion has always existed, btw, it just used to be illegal (even permitted by the Catholic Church until relatively recently in their long history, up to the point of 'quickening').

But whatever my personal views on abortion, or yours, or that of the judge, or the prosecuting or defence lawyers, justice is about facts and the impartial application of the law. It seems entirely possible the accused in this case was not treated fairly but suffered from the personal bias of the judge. That is not on in a civilised country that takes the rule of law seriously.

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 21:07:00

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Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 21:08:27

As a believer in God, my beliefs of who is scum have nothing to do with particular countries, either. So whether people do things "in the UK" makes no difference to me. And NO-ONE on this forum can change my mind.

RagingDull Sat 22-Sep-12 21:12:18

the woman in question had hidden her last pregnancy until the babies (live) birth, had had a child adopted and had several abortions.

this woman could not be arsed to it again and instead killed her full term baby.

that is against the law and she was punished. end of story. who gives an actual fuck what hte personal opinion of the judge was? he sentenced her according to the law as it stands.

she deserves every single minute of that sentence.

shesariver Sat 22-Sep-12 21:22:34

And yes, Bpas and Marie Stopes are scum. They are absolute scum. I know quite fucking well that what they do is "current practice in the UK". That practice is pure evil because it's based on killing a pre-born child just because the woman doesn't WANT to be pregnant.

They provide a service that you dont agree with - doesnt make then scum. Legal abortion is not evil. At the end of the day its a womans right to choose, and thankfully the law recognises that rather than giving in to anti-abortion extremists.

mellen Sat 22-Sep-12 21:22:56

Again Extrospektiv

What evidence do you have for stating that 90% of terminations are under ground C?

edam Sat 22-Sep-12 21:59:17

It's not very Christian to go around calling people scum. Maybe you should spend a little more energy reading the Gospels and a little less worrying about what everyone else is up to. Have you read the parable about the mote in the eye?

edam Sat 22-Sep-12 22:01:12

In case you don't have a Bible handy:

Matthew 7:3-5 (King James Bible)

3 And why behold the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how will thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Rowanhart Sat 22-Sep-12 22:28:02

I am very much pro-choice.

But that doesn't mean this decision is incorrect. Feel like this is becoming very black or white.

ReallyTired Sat 22-Sep-12 22:37:15

I imagine that there are some humanist judges who disagree with abortion at term of a healthy baby. Lets keep religion out of the law courts.

As the law stands it is illegal to have an abortion unless 2 doctors see it as a danger to either the mother's health or the baby is severely disabled. Bpas and Marie Stopes offer a service that legal under British law. Personally I think abortion law in the Uk has a good balance between the needs of the mother and the baby's right to life. If you are unhappy with abortion law in the UK then right to your MP or choice a peaceful campain group.

The woman broke UK law by doing a DIY abortion at term. People who break the law need to be punished otherwise they will break the law again. People are sent to jail to act as a deterent as well as to punish the offender.

In someways it would be more constructive to reduce this woman's sentence if she agreed to be sterilised. However I can't see any ethics commitee agreeing that.

Extrospektiv Sat 22-Sep-12 23:58:52

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Extrospektiv Sun 23-Sep-12 00:00:42

I will not get involved with MPs because MPs do not decide whether abortion is right or wrong. God does. Fuck Parliament. Their rules have NOTHING to do with my beliefs on moral issues and never will do.

Extrospektiv Sun 23-Sep-12 00:04:44

And ALL abortion except to save the life of the mother is evil. Legal abortion is evil. Illegal abortion is evil. The morality of abortion is separate from what an earthly government decides on it.

If Parliament banned abortions to save the life of the mother, I would support breaking the law, and breaking the law would be the right thing to do. The Scriptures teach that when God and man are in opposition, one obeys GOD. If man has a problem with that they can throw me in prison. Even threatening execution won't make me comply.

As the Manhattan Declaration says- We are not opposed to obeying law or submitting to government per se. We willingly give to Caesar what is Caesar's. But we will NEVER, even under the penalty of death, give to Caesar what is GOD's. And moral judgments, life and the family for example belong to God not Caesar.

Extrospektiv Sun 23-Sep-12 00:05:36

The reason I said fuck you Parliament is because the world has sunken into such deep evil now that all governments are basically corrupt.

NanaNina Sun 23-Sep-12 00:06:50

I am in total agreement with Edam whose posts I find are informative, accurate and measured. I especially agree with her comments to Extro that if you have to resort to inflammatory language and personal attacks you are conceeding that you are on the losing side of an argument.

There are clearly and unsurprisingly many views on this issue. I am very pro-choice as far as abortion is concerned and have long been dismayed by some of the protests outside abortion clinics by anti-abortionists with sensational pictures and "facts" about pain to the foetus and other matters that are without foundation. As Edam says it matters not what any of our views are, justice is about the impartial application of the law and this does not seem to have been the case, and that there is reason to believe that this woman could have suffered from the Judge's personal views on the matter which totally goes against the impartialapplication of the law.

I have not not yet read the entire post of the report of this case provided by Edam, but the fact that it is a Guardian report gives me reason to think that the report is likely to be accurate and valid and devoid of the sensationalism of the red tops.

I sincerely hope that this woman appeals and that appeal is successful. Who are we to judge what compelled this woman to take the action that she did when we know absolutely nothing of her state of mind or the degree of emotional distress that she must have suffered. I have read somewhere that she is not mentally ill, but not all psychological distress is diagnosed as mental illness, and only the woman herself knows what her emotions were and her motives for taking the course of action that she did.

edam Sun 23-Sep-12 00:09:20

I notice you've ignored Matthew 7:3-5. Not really that interested in the Bible, are you, for someone who claims to be motivated by religion...

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