On Friday, the court of protection in London decided an abortion was in the best interests of the woman, who is in her 20s, and is 22 weeks pregnant. She has the mental capacity of a six- to nine-year-old child.
Justice Nathalie Lieven, who made the original ruling, described it as “heartbreaking”, saying: “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.”
But, she added, she had to act in the woman’s “best interests, not on society’s views of termination”.
The NHS trust that is caring for the woman had sought the court’s permission for doctors to terminate the pregnancy. Three specialists, an obstetrician and two psychiatrists, said a termination was the best option because of the risk to the woman’s psychiatric health if pregnancy continued.
Both the woman and her mother were opposed to the abortion, and the woman’s mother had offered to care for the child. A social worker who works with the woman said the pregnancy should continue.
The court was told last week that the woman had a “moderately severe” learning disorder and a mood disorder.