New Zealand: A letter bearing the signatures of 1,000 doctors decries a bill in Parliament that would legalize euthanasia, saying, “Physician assisted suicide and euthanasia are unethical, even if they were made legal. We believe that crossing the line to intentionally assist a person to die would fundamentally weaken the doctor-patient relationship, which is based on trust and respect.” The bill would allow euthanasia for the terminally ill and those with “a grievous and irremediable medical condition.”
United Kingdom: A British appeals court on Monday overruled a judge’s decision that a mentally and developmentally disabled woman must have an abortion even though she doesn’t want one and her mother is protesting the procedure, the Press Association news agency reported. The appellate judges said they would offer a detailed explanation of their decision at a later date. On Friday, lower court Judge Nathalie Lieven ordered the woman, who is about 22 weeks pregnant, to undergo an abortion. “I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the state to order a woman to have a termination where it appears that she doesn’t want it is an immense intrusion,” Lieven wrote. “I have to operate in [her] best interests.” Right to Life UK started a petition against Lieven’s ruling, saying, “This is an utterly despicable decision which must be opposed.” Police are investigating the child’s conception because it might not have been consensual.
Kenya: A Kenyan court widened the nation’s abortion policies in a ruling earlier this month when it decided the case of a girl who died after an illness she contracted during an illegal abortion. The court awarded financial compensation to the girl’s family and ruled that abortion could be allowed in cases of psychological distress. Previously, Kenya protected babies from abortion unless the pregnancy endangered the life or health of the mother. The court also warned abortion providers against skirting the country’s strong pro-life laws. —S.G.