Seven years ago, a young 19 year-old alcoholic woman gave birth to a little girl severely affected by foetal alcohol syndrome. The baby was suffering from growth retardation, facial anomalies, mental deficiency and other highly significant complications. Over the last 5 years, the local authorities have tried to get compensation from the courts to cover the child’s medical costs and improve her quality of life.
Although the courts recognised that the syndrome from which the child is suffering is directed related to her mother’s alcohol abuse during pregnancy, the Court of Appeal has today decided that the child cannot claim any compensation for the damages sustained during pregnancy because “she was not a ‘real’ person when she was in the womb, but rather an ‘organism’. No crime was therefore committed because a foetus is not a person“. “The child was not a person when she was poisoned”. An irony of fate – the legislation used in this decision punishes murder, especially abortion, with a prison sentence.
Covertly, many organisations have reacted to the fact that an unborn baby is not considered to be a person. They have realised that if an unborn child is viewed as a real person in the eyes of the law, the decision could have far-reaching consequences.
Mercatornet (Philippa Taylor) 08/12/2014