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Girl of 13 is free to decide on abortion

By Brian Farmer

A High Court judge has ruled that a 13-year-old girl is capable of making her own decisions about whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.

Health authority bosses had asked Mr Justice Mostyn to decide whether the teenager had the mental capacity to understand options open to her.

The judge concluded that she did – after hearing evidence from a psychiatrist who had interviewed her.

He said it was for the girl to "decide what she wishes to do".

Detail of the case emerged yesterday in a written ruling by the judge following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

The judge said the girl's grandmother had noticed a "bump" a few weeks ago. Tests had shown that the girl was probably more than 20 weeks pregnant.

He said health authority bosses with responsibility for the youngster's care had sought a court ruling because they wanted to be sure that the teenager had the "appropriate capacity" to make decisions about the pregnancy.

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