Patterico's Pontifications


U.K. Orders Mentally Disabled Woman 22 Weeks Pregnant To Abort Her Baby

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:54 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Justice Nathalie Lieven has ordered a disabled woman who is 22 weeks pregnant, to undergo an abortion due to her mental limitations (she has the mental capacity of a “grade-school” child). Lieven claims that this decision has been made with the woman’s best interest at heart:

“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,” said Justice Nathalie Lieven in her ruling in the Court of Protection, June 21.

“I have to operate in [her] best interests, not on society’s views of termination,” Lieven explained, arguing that her decision is in the best interest of the woman.

The Court of Protection handles cases involving individuals judged to lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

The woman, who cannot been publicly identified, has been described as “in her twenties,” and is under the care of an NHS trust, part of the UK’s National Health Service.

Doctors at the trust wished to abort her pregnancy and argued that, due to her diminished mental capacity, the abortion would be less traumatic for the woman than giving birth, especially if the baby would then be placed in foster care.

This in spite of the young woman’s mother being against a forced abortion, and telling the court that she would take care of the baby herself:

Barrister John McKendrick, who is leading the legal team for the pregnant woman’s mother, says the court has “no proper evidence” that having an abortion will be beneficial to the pregnant mother. “Their evidence is premised on a narrow clinical view. The application must be dismissed,” McKendrick said. The pregnant woman’s mother has added that abortion strongly violates her family’s Catholic values and that she would raise her grandchild herself.

A social worker who works with the young woman also said the pregnancy should be allowed to continue.

Not good enough for Judge Lieven:

The judge said she did not believe the woman understood what it meant to have a baby.

“I think she would like to have a baby in the same way she would like to have a nice doll,” Lieven said.

Lieven also said she did not believe the woman’s mother, who already helps care for her daughter, would be able to offer care for a grandchild at the same time.

Without knowing the specifics of the mental disability (does she get violent, is she compliant, etc.), it’s as if the judge believes no one has ever taken care of more than one child at a time, or taken care of a young adult with a mental disability while providing care to a baby. If this is the real concern, and the young woman is under the care of the NHS, why not offer to provide home visits by nurses or health aides to assist the grandmother? Is this an impossible ask? If the woman is a practicing Catholic and attends church, would there be no effort made by parishioners to spend time helping her care for the baby and daughter? In my experience, coming alongside families in need is one of the best things church bodies do for those in their midst.

But to this court, terminating the baby’s life – a baby who is more than halfway through gestation – is the only viable option. It’s a neater and swifter fix to the problem. As if an abortion and its aftermath is not at all upsetting, painful, confusing, and an overall soul-crushing, heart-wrenching experience. How dare the court presume that this procedure will just be the simple excision of an intrusive interruption in the life of a young woman with diminished capacity. Nothing more than a little blip on the radar, as if the young woman doesn’t have a heart and a soul and a capacity for love.

The judge also decided that, along with giving birth, putting the baby up for adoption or placed into foster care would not be in the woman’s best interest. Again, the only viable option is ending the baby’s life because to the court, the baby in the womb obviously has no personhood:

“I think [the woman] would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed [from her care],” Lieven said, because “it would at that stage be a real baby.”

Lieven clarified that the pregnancy “although real to [the woman], doesn’t have a baby outside her body she can touch.”

So everything but allowing the woman to give birth to her baby is in her best interest. This exemplifies an unbelievable level of inhumanity, and overreach by the Court. Ending the life of innocents seems to be the face of the NHS and socialized medicine: Charlie Gard.

It’s insightful to read a little background on Lieven:

As a lawyer, Lieven has appeared in court before in cases concerning abortion. In 2011, while representing the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, an abortion provider, she argued that British women should be permitted to medically abort their pregnancies at their own homes instead of in a hospital.

Five years later, Lieven argued in court that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws were a violation of the United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act.

In 2017, she said that Northern Ireland’s abortion laws were akin to torture and were discriminatory.

The BBC reports on ethical arguments concerning the abortion of babies with disabilities here, and concludes the report with societal goals on the treatment of those with disabilities. As you read, keep in mind that in this case, it is the mother who has a mental disability, not the baby, and keep in mind the court’s rationale for their order to have the baby aborted:

Modern society believes certain things about people with disability:

People with disabilities should not be discriminated against in any way
Society should do everything reasonable to remove anything that gets in the way of disabled people playing a full part in ordinary life
Prejudice against disabled people is not acceptable
Stereotypes about disability should be eliminated

It’s all so ironic when you consider that the grandmother willingly gave birth to a baby who with a disability, and now the daughter with the disability is pregnant and being forced to abort her baby because there is simply no other viable option in the eyes of the court. And while the grandmother may not have known about the disability before she gave birth to her daughter, at some point after she became aware of it, and yet chose to keep the child and not put her into foster care or give her up for adoption. Thankfully, there are still people in this sad world who believe in love, no matter what form its arrival takes in their lives. And even though the grandmother said she would care for the baby – a baby who has not been identified with any disability and is perfectly innocent in every way – according to the court, that is not enough to escape death. The baby must not be allowed to live. The grandmother, whose faith prohibits the taking of innocent life and who chose to love and care for her disabled daughter, is irrelevant.

P.S. According to reports, there is an ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding her pregnancy.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


German Politician Murdered, Plus Charlottesville Murderer Pleads for Mercy

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 12:01 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

German politician’s murder raises spectre of far-right attacks:

Walter Lübcke knew how it felt to receive death threats. A senior politician from Angela Merkel’s CDU party in Hesse, the 65-year-old was well known in the region for his liberal attitude towards people seeking asylum.
Lübcke was found just after midnight on 2 June, reportedly by his son, as he lay unconscious and badly injured on the terrace of his own home in the sleepy village of Istha, in central Germany. He had been shot in the head at close range and died shortly afterwards in hospital.

The suspect has links to a neo-Nazi network:

They have identified Stephan Ernst, 45, as their main suspect. He is known to have had links to neo-Nazi networks and investigators are exploring a possible connection to the notorious NSU (National Socialist Underground) – an extremist group which shot dead 10 people, most of whom had migrant backgrounds, between 2000 and 2007.
According to government figures, there are 24,000 right-wing extremists in Germany. Nearly 13,000 are believed to have a tendency to violence.

Charlottesville murderer and [r]emorseless white supremacist, 22, who killed woman and injured dozens in domestic terror attack asks judge to commute his sentence …:

Lawyers for James Alex Fields Jr., 22, said in a sentencing memo that their client is too young for a life sentence, had a traumatic childhood ad is mentally ill.

He killed anti-racism activist Heather Heyer and injured dozens more when he drove his car into protesters who had assembled at a white nationalist rally.

Fields has shown no remorse for his actions and as prosecutors pointed out in the memo they filed last week continues to disparage the victim’s mother.

Excerpt from the James A. Fields, Jr. DOJ Victim Notification:

Fields expressed and promoted his belief that white people are superior to other races and peoples; expressed support of the social and racial policies of Adolf Hitler and Nazi-era Germany, including the Holocaust, and espoused violence against African Americans, Jewish people and members of other racial, ethnic and Religious groups he perceived to be non-white.  Fields also expressed these views directly in interactions with individuals known to him.

The common denominator in these stories is hate. And Nazis.


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 127

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the second Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott” (Lord Jesus Christ, true Man and God).

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 8:26-39:

Jesus Restores a Demon-Possessed Man

They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words, reminding one of the way the demon-possessed man addressed Jesus as “Jesus, Son of the Most High God”:

Lord Jesus Christ, true Man and God,
You who suffered martyrdom, anguish and ridicule,
at the end also died for me on the Cross
and won for me Your Father’s favor,
I ask, through Your bitter suffering:
Be merciful to me, a sinner.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]


Boeing Class Action Lawsuit

Filed under: Law — DRJ @ 9:26 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Boeing hit with lawsuit for ‘unprecedented cover-up’:

Boeing was slapped with a class-action lawsuit from more than 400 pilots who say the company covered up design flaws in its 737 Max planes.
Pilots affected by the decision to ground the aircraft “suffer and continue to suffer significant lost wages, among other economic and non-economic damages,” according to the lawsuit.

The case is set to be heard by a court in Chicago on October 21, according to ABC [Australian Broadcasting Corporation]. The lawsuit’s original plaintiff, identified only as “pilot X” due to the plaintiff’s fears of reprisal from Boeing officials and customers, filed the suit Friday reportedly seeking millions in damages.


Massive Drug Bust in …

Filed under: Crime — DRJ @ 8:23 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Reuters – U.S. seizes $1 billion worth of cocaine from ship in Philadelphia.

16.5 tons, one of the biggest seizures in decades.


Trump Tweets Deportation Delay UPDATED

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 2:17 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Donald Trump on Twitter:

At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!

1:56 PM · Jun 22, 2019

Mayors in multiple cities had vowed to oppose deportations in their cities.

UPDATE: Miami Herald Editorial Board: Reprehensible immigrant round ups in Miami postponed — for now.


Questions about Trump’s Account of Iran Attack

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 8:32 am

[Headline from DRJ]

Trump’s Account Of Iran Attack Plan Facing Scrutiny:

Early in the day, the president said he called off the attack at the last minute because it would have killed 150 people in retaliation for the downing of the drone. “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,” he tweeted.

But administration officials said Trump was told earlier Thursday how many casualties could occur if a strike on Iran were carried out and that he had given the green light that morning to prepare the operation.

Related: Trump: Iran ‘very wise’ not to shoot down manned plane:

President Trump said Saturday Iran was “very wise” not to shoot down a manned plane when it decided to down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.

“There was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that’s a big story. They had it in their sights and they didn’t shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn’t do that. I think that was a very wise decision,” Trump told reporters Saturday.



Gov Abbott: Don’t Mess With Texas

Filed under: Immigration — DRJ @ 10:48 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Texas Governor Greg Abbott:

Greg Abbott

I just deployed 1,000 National Guard Troops to the border.

This is needed because more than 45,000 people were apprehended crossing our border illegally in the last 3 weeks.

They come from 52 different countries.

Congress must do its job and fund border security.


Author Claims Trump Sexually Assaulted Her In Lingerie Department Dressing Room

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:29 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In E. Jean Carroll’s upcoming book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal,” due to be released in July, the author claims that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her after encountering him in Bergdorf Goodman. Why didn’t Elle columnist and former television host Carroll go public with her story sooner? Say like when he was running for the presidency? Well, she’ll tell you why. In her recounting of the event, she meets skeptical readers head-on:

Why haven’t I “come forward” before now?

Receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud, and joining the 15 women who’ve come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested, and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun. Also, I am a coward.

Thus she joins 15 other women who have made accusations of sexual misconduct against President Trump.

According to Carroll, it began when she happened to bump into Donald Trump, whom she had met once before, in Bergdorf Goodman. She describes a light-hearted romp through the store to help him find a gift for a woman:

I am surprised at how good-looking he is. We’ve met once before, and perhaps it is the dusky light but he looks prettier than ever. This has to be in the fall of 1995 or the spring of 1996 because he’s garbed in a faultless topcoat and I’m wearing my black wool Donna Karan coatdress and high heels but not a coat.

“Come advise me,” says the man. “I gotta buy a present.”

“Oh!” I say, charmed. “For whom?”

“A girl,” he says.

“Don’t the assistants of your secretaries buy things like that?” I say.

“Not this one,” he says. Or perhaps he says, “Not this time.” I can’t recall. He is a big talker, and from the instant we collide, he yammers about himself like he’s Alexander the Great ready to loot Babylon.

As we are standing just inside the door, I point to the handbags. “How about—”

“No!” he says, making the face where he pulls up both lips like he’s balancing a spoon under his nose, and begins talking about how he once thought about buying Bergdorf ’s.

“Or … a hat!” I say enthusiastically, walking toward the handbags, which, at the period I’m telling you about — and Bergdorf’s has been redone two or three times since then — are mixed in with, and displayed next to, the hats. “She’ll love a hat! You can’t go wrong with a hat!”

I don’t remember what he says, but he comes striding along — greeting a Bergdorf sales attendant like he owns the joint and permitting a shopper to gape in awe at him — and goes right for a fur number.

“Please,” I say. “No woman would wear a dead animal on her head!”

What he replies I don’t recall, but I remember he coddles the fur hat like it’s a baby otter.

“How old is the lady in question?” I ask.

“How old are you?” replies the man, fondling the hat and looking at me like Louis Leakey carbon-dating a thighbone he’s found in Olduvai Gorge.

“I’m 52,” I tell him.

“You’re so old!” he says, laughing — he was around 50 himself — and it’s at about this point that he drops the hat, looks in the direction of the escalator, and says, “Lingerie!” Or he may have said “Underwear!” So we stroll to the escalator. I don’t remember anybody else greeting him or galloping up to talk to him, which indicates how very few people are in the store at the time.

According to Carroll, it’s in the lingerie department where things turned ugly but not until after they playfully banter about which of them should try on the lingerie that he grabbed from the counter.

At this point in her story, Carroll confirms that there is no available security footage to back up her story (Bergdorf Goodman did not retain any footage from that time), and that she didn’t report the encounter to the police but did tell two close friends about what happened in the dressing room:

I told two close friends. The first, a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning shows, author of many books, etc., begged me to go to the police.

“He raped you,” she kept repeating when I called her. “He raped you. Go to the police! I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.”

My second friend is also a journalist, a New York anchorwoman. She grew very quiet when I told her, then she grasped both my hands in her own and said, “Tell no one. Forget it! He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you.” (Two decades later, both still remember the incident clearly and confirmed their accounts to New York.)

And here’s what Carroll claims happened once inside the dressing room:

The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.

I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle. I am wearing a pair of sturdy black patent-leather four-inch Barneys high heels, which puts my height around six-one, and I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.

The whole episode lasts no more than three minutes. I do not believe he ejaculates. I don’t remember if any person or attendant is now in the lingerie department. I don’t remember if I run for the elevator or if I take the slow ride down on the escalator. As soon as I land on the main floor, I run through the store and out the door — I don’t recall which door — and find myself outside on Fifth Avenue.

Bloomberg News has published a statement from President Trump in response to Carroll’s allegations, saying `I’ve never met this person in my life':


CNN’s Daniel Dale posts a photograph of Trump and his first wife socializing with Carroll and her former husband:


I completely understand why she didn’t go to the police and file a report. And I even understand why she remained silent all of these years. This especially if you read the entirety of the released portion of her book linked in the post. But what puzzles me (and maybe I’m just old school) is: Why would she would enter the confines of a dressing room with a man she had only met on one prior occasion? Who does that? (I’ll just note here that even if their mutually playful banter was an indication that there was the hope of something happening once inside the dressing room, it would obviously never justify the actions that Carroll has alleged that Trump took against her.)

As for Trump, well, Carroll’s description of the encounter neatly dovetails with Trump’s own description of himself: :

I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said in the 2005 conversation. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”

Obviously none of know with certainty what, if anything happened between Trump and Carroll, but here’s the thing: Two women in whom she confided, have confirmed that she told them about the alleged assault. That alone matters. That alone is troubling. I hope they go public. And if the assault did happen as described by Carroll, then it should matter to Americans. And especially to those who support Trump, and are working toward his re-election. Because if an illegal act as described by Carroll took place at the hands of a man who is seeking to be re-elected as President of the United States and doesn’t matter to his supporters, then something is dreadfully wrong. Oh. Wait. What’s that? Right: We pretty much already know it won’t matter, and will be viewed as nothing more than a little blip on people’s radar. If that.

P.S. Carroll says that “the Donna Karan coatdress still hangs on the back of my closet door, unworn and unlaundered since that evening”.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


SCOTUS: Prosecutor must Prove Immigrant’s Knowledge in Gun Prosecution

Filed under: Court Decisions,Law — DRJ @ 4:09 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

From The Hill — Supreme Court sides with immigrant in gun possession case:

The Supreme Court on Friday found that prosecutors have to prove that an individual alleged to have illegally possessed a firearm must know that they are part of a group banned from having the gun in the first place.

In a 7-2 ruling, the justices sided with United Arab Emirates citizen Hamid Rehaif, who shot firearms at a gun range after he was dismissed from college over bad grades and told that his immigration status under his student visa would be terminated.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion that prosecutors do need to prove that Rehaif knew of his immigration status, and that he would therefore be banned from possessing a gun.

Justice Alito dissented:

Alito was highly critical of the ruling in the dissenting opinion, noting that the federal gun statute at hand applies to individuals like convicted felons, stalkers and those who commit acts of domestic violence.

“Today’s decision will make it significantly harder to convict persons falling into some of these categories, and the decision will create a mountain of problems with respect to the thousands of prisoners currently serving terms” for convictions under that law, he argued.

Alito also took issue with the argument that Rehaif may not have known he was in the country illegally, and criticized the court for agreeing to hear the case in the first place. And he warned that the ruling could have ramifications for future cases on immigration. “Serious problems will also result from requiring proof that an alien actually knew—not should have known or even strongly suspected but actually knew—that his continued presence in the country was illegal,” Alito wrote.

Alito has the better argument.


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