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Girl of 13 has the capacity to decide to have an abortion, High Court rules

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g3272 (Published 14 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3272
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A High Court judge has declared that a 13 year old girl has the capacity to decide for herself to have an abortion and that an NHS trust may perform the procedure on the basis of her consent.

The girl, named only as A, conceived when she was 12, and the case came to court shortly after her 13th birthday, when she was more than 21 weeks pregnant. She told the psychiatrist who assessed her capacity that she wanted an abortion because she “would not be able to cope” with carrying on with the pregnancy.

The unnamed …

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