The Corner

Politics & Policy

Rubio Urges State Department to Aid U.K. Woman Ordered to Undergo Forced Late-Term Abortion

Senator Marco Rubio (R, Fla.) in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

On Monday morning, Florida senator Marco Rubio sent a letter to the Trump administration calling on the United States to render aid to a woman in the United Kingdom who was ordered by a judge to undergo a forced late-term abortion. 

“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 in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and DHS acting secretary Kevin McAleneen. “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.”

On Friday, the Press Association and the Catholic News Agency first reported that an unidentified woman was being ordered by British judge Nathalie Lieven to undergo a forced late-term abortion because the pregnant woman, who is mentally disabled, could suffer from mental distress if the child were put up for adoption.

“’I think [the pregnant woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed [from her care],’ Lieven said, because ‘it would at that stage be a real baby.’” (Premature infants born at 22 weeks — the age of the child marked for death by Lieven — are capable of surviving outside the womb and living normal lives.) The New York Times reported that “a spokesman for the court confirmed public details of the case by email on Sunday, including the court proceeding and the judge’s comments.

Update: Jack Crowe and the Wall Street Journal report that the court order has been overturned.

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