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Curate takes Police to Court over Abortion for Cleft Palate

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Following the news that the case challenging the legality of an abortion for cleft palate is going ahead, Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre issued the following statement...

Following the news that the case challenging the legality of an abortion for cleft palate is going ahead, Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre issued the following statement:-


“As the case has been presented to us, we believe that, not only was the abortion illegal, but that it highlights the urgent need for a fundamental review of the law.”

“It is a fundamental principle of English law that when a person‘s life and liberty is at stake, the law is to be interpreted in such a way that is least intrusive to that person’s life and liberty with any doubt resolved in that person’s favour. A cleft palate could not, on any reasonable interpretation of the law, be described as a serious handicap as required by the 1967 Act. We believe that such an interpretation drives a coach and horses through the intention of Parliament at that time.”

“Anne Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service commenting on the case said, ‘When the law was passed it was deliberately left vague for the decision to be made between the woman and her doctors. We feel that this is appropriate.’”

“In this case we do not believe the law to be vague. The ramifications of accepting that cleft palate, a relatively mild and remedial handicap, is a ”serious handicap“ opens the door for any minor defect in a child to justify abortion”.

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