22 Sep 2012

UK Judge in late abortion case linked to conservative Christian charity

A British judge who criticised UK abortion policies while sentencing a woman to eight years in prison for performing her own abortion at a late stage in her pregnancy is one of at least five members of the judiciary with links to a Christian charity which has campaigned for more conservative abortion laws.

Justice-Jeremy-Cooke

There has been surprise at the severity of the sentence Justice Jeremy Cooke imposed on Sarah Catt, who took a drug when she was 39 weeks pregnant to cause an early delivery and pleaded guilty in July to administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage. Catt told police that she buried the remains but has refused to disclose the location.

In remarks that some commentators have criticised, he told her: "There is no mitigation available by reference to the Abortion Act, whatever view one takes of its provisions which are, wrongly, liberally construed in practice so as to make abortion available essentially on demand prior to 24 weeks with the approval of registered medical practitioners."

The Guardian