Boyfriend challenges ‘forced’ abortion

A woman has been given until tomorrow to seek legal advice and respond to claims that she is being forced to have an abortion in Britain against her will.

Her boyfriend mounted a High Court challenge yesterday after he discovered arrangements were made for an abortion. He says he has no desire to restrain his girlfriend from travelling should that be her freely held wish, however, he alleges she is being forced to undergo the procedure by her family.

Lawyers acting for the man asked Ms Justice Mary Laffoy for several injunctions preventing his girlfriend, who is 20 weeks pregnant, from undergoing an abortion or from leaving the jurisdiction until it can be ascertained if she is acting of her own free will. He is also asking the court to vindicate the rights of his unborn child.

The couple, who cannot be identified by order of the Court, are both foreign nationals, aged in their 20s, and live in Ireland. The woman attended court yesterday, but was not legally represented.

In an affidavit, the man said his girlfriend “is happy to be pregnant” and “never expressed any desire to have an abortion”, but adds her family are of the view she will be “ruined” if she has a child with “a non-white man”.

He said her true intentions are that she is registered with a maternity hospital, and is looking forward to have a scan in the near future. She also went buying baby clothes for the child.

The couple moved in together, at a location away from her family, who also reside in Ireland. However, at their home the man says they were harassed by members of her family. He claims in recent days she was forced by her family to leave the house they had shared.

He also claims a member of his girlfriend’s family threatened to kill him if he tried to come near her.

Earlier the court heard the couple at the centre of the case have known each other for a year, but her family have not accepted their relationship. The man says the woman’s family are deeply unhappy that she is in a relationship with someone of non-European origin.

The judge also directed the Attorney General be made a notice party to the proceedings.

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