Earlier this month, a Norfolk probate judge declared a pregnant woman with schizophrenia incompetent and ordered her to undergo an abortion, stating she could be "coaxed, bribed, or even enticed'' into the hospital for the procedure.
Unbidden, the judge further directed that the 32-year-old woman be sterilized "to avoid this painful situation from recurring in the future.''
Yesterday, the state's appeals court struck down the decision in unusually harsh terms, saying the woman had clearly expressed her opposition to abortion as a Catholic.
"The personal decision whether to bear or beget a child is a right so fundamental that it must be extended to all persons, including those who are incompetent,'' the opinion stated, citing a 1982 ruling by the state's Supreme Judicial Court......
The woman, identified in court records by the pseudonym Mary Moe, described herself to court officials as "very Catholic,'' and said she would never have an abortion. When asked about an abortion at a December hearing, she replied that she "wouldn't do that.......''
The woman, who also has bipolar disorder, has been pregnant twice before. In the first pregnancy, she had an abortion. In the second she gave birth to the boy.
At some point between her abortion and the birth of her son, she had a "psychotic break'' and has since been hospitalized numerous times for mental illness, court records say.
Dr. Rajendra Kale, interim editor-in-chief at the Canadian Medical Association Journal, defends his call for withholding information on fetal sex until the 30th week to prevent sex-selection abortions in Canada.
Kale said the overall numbers might be small, but if the phenomenon is showing up in census data, it's not as small as people here want to believe.
"Anyone saying it doesn't happen in Canada or happens in ridiculously low numbers is just wrong," Kale said. "I'm convinced we need to do something."
A South African court is hearing from an abortionist about the death of a 35-year-old woman who died during a botched 18-week abortion at a Marie Stopes abortion clinic.
e said soon after the procedure started, 'something went wrong' and Mathebula's condition deteriorated. She died after losing more than two litres of blood. 'I did not force the forceps . . . to cause the tear, I simply grabbed the foetus. I do not know what caused the tear which eventually led to the rupture,' he is reported to have said.
Overheard - Dana Milbank on abortion provider Merle Hoffman's claims of an abortion expulsion since the recession:
Abortion rates have exploded since the economic collapse, she warned, as nearly three-quarters of women ending their pregnancies say they simply can't afford to have a baby. Hoffman expanded on that trend to forecast a "dim future" for women if a Republican wins the White House: a world of abortion "slave states" and "underground railroads" and "pre-Roe reality."
There was just one problem with this hysteria: The data in the study she presented were from 2008 — before the impact of the recession was felt. The sweeping conclusions came, rather, from "journalistic reports," as well as "seminal studies" (no pun intended, apparently) at Hoffman's own clinic in New York — where, as she eventually admitted, abortion rates were "relatively stable" the last two years.