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Scrambling for new excuses to justify an abortion at 39 weeks!

by | Sep 26, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Sarah Catt

What do you do when you firmly believe in something but know that if the public knew your true position would be scandalized? Enter the predicament of so many abortion apologists who hate the idea (in principle and in practice) of conceding that there can EVER be a limit to when an abortion is performed but know the public blanches at their extremism.

We’ve already talked about one unsuccessful pro-abortion attempt to square the circle in the case of Sarah Catt, the British woman recently sentenced to eight years for aborting her child in the 39th week!

Catt pled guilty in July to administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage, a very convoluted (and misleading) description of what even the pro-abortion BBC described as a “full-term abortion.”

Essentially, Amanda Marcotte comes at her defense sideways, arguing it’s a matter of definition.

“Inducing labor with intent to miscarry is a much different thing than procedures designed to prevent birth in the first place. This word choice conflates Catt’s actions with ordinary abortions—and does so in a world where a woman’s right to have one is hotly contested.”

This is staggeringly stupid, and we detailed why at

But they won’t—they can’t—let go. Let’s listen to Karen Gardiner. Gardiner makes a run at excusing away an abortion that took place 15 weeks past the ostensible legal limit in Great Britain. As Judge Jeremy Cooke pointed out, had the baby had been born a few days later and then been killed, Catt would have been charged with murder.

You probably remember the outlines of the case. After being arrested in September 2010, Catt initially claimed she had had an abortion at a Marie Stopes clinic in March. An analysis of her computer showed she had secured a drug [never identified but suspected to be RU46] over the Internet to “induce a miscarriage.”

She then claimed the baby boy was stillborn and that she buried his body but no evidence of the child was ever found. Catt pled guilty in July and after  her September 17 sentencing, Chief Inspector Kerrin Smith, who led the investigation, said she had proved to be “more than capable of being extremely deceitful in her actions,” adding “Catt has proved to be cold and calculating and has shown no remorse or given an explanation for what she did.”

So, given this unfriendly set of facts, what’s Gardiner to do? She tries throwing everything up to and including the kitchen sink.

She points out that Catt “had a troubled history of pregnancy and childbirth: she had previously given up a child for adoption in 1999; had one legal termination; tried to terminate another pregnancy but missed the legal limit; and concealed another pregnancy from her husband before the child’s birth.” That’s not likely to work in Catt’s favor. What’s next?

Argue (quoting an abortion advocacy organization) that the real culprit is not that Catt ended  the life of a baby days away from delivery but  whenever women “feel their options are closed.” Next?

Try to undermine the justice’s objectivity (Gardiner links to a story which reveals that Justice Cooke is “one of at least five members of the judiciary with links to a Christian charity which has campaigned for more conservative abortion laws”). Imagine that!

A history of bad mothering and conspiracies are much to base a defense on, so Gardiner tries turning what Justice Cooke said in sentencing Catt against him: “There is no mitigation available by reference to the Abortion Act, whatever view one takes of its provisions which are, wrongly, liberally construed in practice so as to make abortion available essentially on demand prior to 24 weeks with the approval of registered medical practitioners.”

The difficulty is that is 100% accurate. Ostensibly abortions are forbidden in Britain after the 24th week unless the woman’s life is at risk or meets the very elastic criteria of involving a substantial risk the child would suffer serious physical or mental handicap. None of that applied in Catt’s case.

Gardiner then tries to imply there is some great barrier to obtaining an abortion—then concedes there isn’t because “abortion is, in practice, available on demand in Great Britain” because of a “loophole.”

NOW what? “Some worry [the loophole] may close with the rise of anti-choice rhetoric in the country.” Get it? Gardiner slides by the grim fact that the 24 week limit barely qualifies as a blinking yellow light to blame those crazy pro-lifers for possibly wanting to close a loophole that allows babies to be killed well into the third trimester if they have something as minor as cleft palate.

And on and on.

Marcotte and Gardiner notwithstanding, Justice Cooke was correct. In sentencing Catt, who reportedly showed no emotion, Cooke said, ”The critical element of your offending is the deliberate choice made by you, in full knowledge of the due date of your child, to terminate the pregnancy at somewhere close to term, if not actually at term, with the full knowledge that termination after week 24 was unlawful and in full knowledge your child’s birth was imminent.”

What Catt did, Judge Cooke said, was to “rob an apparently healthy child, vulnerable and defenceless, of the life which he was about to commence.”

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Categories: Abortion