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Home News Caroline Farrow: Two shocking cases demonstrate the legal muddle over abortion

Caroline Farrow: Two shocking cases demonstrate the legal muddle over abortion

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Two heinous cases involving violent and willful destruction of babies came to court this week, both of which highlight the muddled inconsistency of the UK’s legal system when it comes to evaluating the status of the unborn child.

In an act of unimaginable depravity 22-year-old Malorie Bantala who was 32 weeks pregnant with her baby son Joel, was ambushed and attacked outside her home by her ex-boyfriend and father of the baby Kevin Wilson, together with a 17-year-old accomplice. The two men repeatedly stamped on her stomach in a prolonged two minute attack as she curled into a ball desperately trying to protect her baby. The attack was so severe, that Miss Bantala required life-saving surgery, her fingers were broken as a result of being stamped upon and tragically her baby was stillborn following an emergency caesarian. She lost over 6 litres of blood and came very close to losing her womb.

According to the prosecution there was no doubt that her baby boy was the focus of the attack, but there was no way to get to him without hurting the mother. The kicks dealt to this poor woman’s stomach were strong enough to break bones and her pleading and screaming for her baby’s life was callously disregarded.

Following the discovery of her pregnancy, her boyfriend put relentless pressure on her to abort, with threats of violence, harm, suicide and even taking her to an abortion clinic where she steadfastly refused to go through with a termination. Incidentally, this bears out the testimony of the Good Counsel Network, a group who hold vigils outside clinics and report to witnessing a significant number of the clinic’s clientele who appear to be being reluctantly marched in by a third party. What if Malorie Bantala had been frightened enough to succumb to her boyfriend’s manipulation? Would it still have been her choice, or a grave injustice?

Both offenders have been found guilty of child destruction, which potentially carries a life sentence, but the judge has adjourned the sentencing until February. Miss Bantala’s fervent desire is to see justice served for the sake of the son that she had to bury, I hope both her and her son receive it, but there is a disturbing irony here, in that this baby boy has only been designated a child, on the grounds that the mother wanted him.

Had she discovered that her baby had some sort of congenital abnormality, even a relatively minor one such as cleft palate or club foot, then it would have been quite legal to finish him off via a medical procedure up until the moment of his birth. No charges of child destruction apply to those who are potentially disabled or unwell. The same applies to children who are selected for destruction on account of their gender. The government has indicated that they don’t believe that this ought to happen, but on every single opportunity has shied away from actually enshrining this into law and the judiciary has vetoed any attempt to hold doctors who perform sex selective abortions into account.

In the second case, another young mother, Natalie Towers aged 24, has been jailed for two and half years for a DIY abortion after she took a drug to induce an abortion between 32 and 34 weeks. Paramedics called to her house, reported finding her in a calm and settled state later finding her baby boy, later named Luke, face down in the toilet. Passing sentence Judge Justice Jay said that the case involved ‘extinguishing of life about to begin’ and that he had no option other than to give an immediate custodial sentence, which could not be suspended. A search of Miss Towers’s computer demonstrated that she was fully aware of what she was doing as she had researched unborn babies at the age of 24 weeks, along with how to procure an illegal abortion and then attempted to delete her browsing history.

It’s clear that Miss Towers was under stress with a history of psychological problems, but nonetheless she had deliberately chosen to end the life of her baby boy which would have survived had he been given appropriate care.

The judge pointed out that the sentencing had nothing to do with the general immorality of aborting babies but that Natalie Towers had the option of seeking to terminate the pregnancy at any stage before 24 weeks. Knowing that she was legally prohibited from having an abortion after this stage and surmising that she was over the legal limit for abortion, she went ahead and did so anyway and not only did she cause the death of her baby, but she also treated his remains with shocking disrepect.

Two offenders, both jailed for the abominable murders of two young babies, but yet every day abortion providers are paid around £700 to poison and dismember babies just like Joel and Luke, who are not wanted by their parents. Something is terribly wrong.

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Caroline Farrow
Caroline Farrow
Columnist for the Catholic Universe

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