Courts rule girl of 13 can decide whether to terminate pregnancy

Written by admin

May 30, 2014

In A (A Child) [2014] EWFHC1445 (Fam) Mr Justice Mostyn held that a girl who had just turned 13 was able to decide whether she should terminate her pregnancy.

The NHS Trust had applied to the Court on the basis that if the Court decided the child did not have capacity to consent to a termination of the pregnancy the Trust sought a declaration that it would be in the child’s interest to terminate her pregnancy.

The child was interviewed by an experienced consultant psychiatrist who had treated children and young people.  The expert found that the child fully understood the implications of her options and that she was able to explain her wish to terminate the pregnancy and the reasons for her decision.  The psychiatrist also found that the child’s decisions had been reached alone and not under pressure from adults in her family.

Mostyn J. applied the legal test as outlined in Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech Area Health Authority [1986] 1FLR224 and found that the child had sufficient understanding and intelligence to be able to make her own decision regarding the pregnancy.


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