Displaying items by tag: Law
Heidi Crowter, who has Down's syndrome, lost her appeal over a law allowing abortion up to birth for a foetus with Down’s. Legislation gives a 24-week time limit for abortion unless the child could suffer from physical or mental abnormalities, including Down’s. That law was made in 1967, when Down’s children could not even go to school because of their extra chromosome. Pray for judges to move with the times. Heidi said the rules discriminated against people with Down's and do not respect them. Her original court case against the Government was with Maire Lea-Wilson, mother of a Down’s son; she will now go to the Supreme Court. BPAS argued, ‘The claimants say foetuses should have human rights; this was never decided in UK law and goes against many years of legal precedent.’ 90% of women whose unborn children were diagnosed with Down's terminated their pregnancies in 2022.
Livia Tossici-Bolt was praying quietly with a friend in a public space when she was warned by prayer-patrol officers that ‘their prayer could cause intimidation, harassment or distress’; they were asked to move away. Livia filed a complaint against Bournemouth Council for breaching her freedom to pray on a public street. The officers said they prayed close to the edge of a new buffer zone around an abortion clinic, where a protection order bans praying, protesting, vigils, and handing out leaflets. Ms Bolt said, ‘Everyone has the freedom to pray quietly in a public place. I would never dream of doing something that causes intimidation and harassment. We complied with the new rules instituted by the council and didn’t pray within the censorship zone. They tried to intimidate us out of exercising our freedom of thought and of expression in the form of prayer - which has been a foundational part of our society for generations.’
Bishop Paul Mason, the lead bishop for safeguarding in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has defended the seal of the confessional even when a priest may hear disclosures of abuse. He said this after the biannual plenary meeting of bishops where a report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) recommended that failure to report a disclosure of child sexual abuse should be a criminal offence, including disclosures made in the confessional. Bishop Mason said that it’s an extremely sensitive and difficult area, and IICSA noted that they didn’t come across priests who have described having had a paedophile in the Confessional. Bishop Paul said if we do have contact with these people, we have an opportunity to turn their lives around and report themselves to the authorities.
Nigel and Sally Rowe took legal action against the Department for Education after they and their six-year-old son were labelled ‘transphobic’ by a CofE primary school for refusing to ‘believe’ in transgender-affirming policies. The Rowes had raised concerns after two boys aged six were allowed to come to school identifying as girls. The school said it did not ‘require formal medical / psychological assessment and reporting when a pupil seeks to be treated as transgendered’ and was working with Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust (TPHT). TPHT has now been shut down over safety concerns for thousands of children who have been referred there. The Government has settled the case after the Rowes won High Court permission for a judicial review of government transgender policies. They believe that ‘a child of primary school age does not have the mental ability to work out what it is to be transgender.’
Archie Battersbee’s parents, Hollie and Paul from Southend-On-Sea, have been fighting a legal battle since their son was found unconscious with a ligature around his neck in a tragic accident in April. On 15 July, Mr Justice Hayden ruled ‘it is in Archie's best interests for life-support to be removed as it is futile, compromises Archie’s dignity and serves only to protract his death rather than prolong his life.’ Archie's family appealed the decision. At the time of writing, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Peter Jackson are considering arguments at a Court of Appeal. Pray for Archies’ parents who said, ‘Planned death is another name for euthanasia, which is illegal in this country. It is for God to decide what should happen to Archie, including if, when and how he should die’.
Abortion was made legal across the US after a landmark legal ruling in 1973, often referred to as the Roe v Wade case. However, a leaked document claims that the Supreme Court - the nation's most senior legal body - is now in favour of overturning that right. Abortion could instantly become illegal in 22 states. A decision is expected in late June or early July. Currently many states have restrictions such as requiring young pregnant women to involve their parents or a judge in abortion decisions, or waiting periods between the time a woman first visits an abortion clinic and the actual procedure. Sometimes women have to travel across state borders for an abortion and pay more for them. According to the pro-choice movement, poor women are penalised most by these restrictions. There are nine judges on the Supreme Court; six were appointed by Republican (pro-life) presidents.
A Christian children’s home has filed a federal lawsuit against the Biden administration, challenging its rule requiring the agency to place children in the homes of unmarried, cohabitating couples, same-sex couples and non-Christian couples. Holston United Methodist Home for Children has operated in Tennessee and Virginia since 1895 and helped over 8,000 children reunite with family or find a new adoptive family through to transition into adulthood. Their core mission is facilitating relationships so children can be ‘raised by families which prepare them to live the fulfilling adult lives that God intended for them.’ The lawsuit argues that by forcing the home to place children with couples that do not share in its Christian statement of faith, the department of health is violating the right to free exercise of religion under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
For the second time in less than a year, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has blocked an attempt to make it legal for Portuguese doctors to kill their patients. The latest version of the Bill, approved by members of the National Assembly was judged to be too radical by the Roman Catholic president and returned to them unsigned. De Sousa said, If ‘fatal disease’ was no longer a prerequisite for ‘medically assisted death’, he considered the bill to be out of step with ‘the values of life and self-determination, in the context of Portuguese society’.
The head of the Metropolitan Police has said ‘no one is above the law’ when asked about sexual assault allegations made against Prince Andrew. Dame Cressida Dick said, ‘I am aware that currently there is a lot of comment in the media. We will of course again review our position - but at the moment there is no investigation.’ Dame Cressida added, ‘It’s been reviewed twice before; we’ve worked closely with the CPS, and we are of course open to working with authorities from overseas. We will give them every assistance if they ask us for anything within the law. As a result of what’s going on, I’ve asked my team to have another look at the material.’
MP Maria Miller wants a parliamentary debate on banning digitally generated nude images. The nudifying service allows users to undress women in photos, using Artificial intelligence. They had over five million visits in June. ‘Parliament needs an opportunity to debate whether nude and sexually explicit images generated digitally without consent should be outlawed. I believe if this happened the law would change. It should be an offence to distribute sexual images online without consent. It severely impacts on people's lives. Software providers developing this technology are complicit in a very serious crime and should be required to design their products to stop this happening.’ At present making, taking, or distributing without consent intimate images online or through digital technology falls outside the law. Nudifier tools are not new. DeepNude was launched in 2019, but the creators quickly withdrew the service and offered refunds following a backlash.