Child Taken from Mother’s Womb in Forced Cesarean Section

Child Taken from Mother’s Womb in Forced Cesarean Section

It was Julius Caesar who was “ripp’d untimely from his mother’s womb” thus originating the term, Cesarean section. Now, in modern-day Britain, a child has been forcibly removed from a mother, who was sedated and thus unaware of the procedure.  Quickly deemed “the stuff of nightmares” by human-rights group, this extraordinary story has left Essex social services with a lot of explaining to do. And a mother who has yet to be united with the baby girl who was taken from her body.

In a case which has been described by those representing the mother as “unprecedented,” a court order was obtained, in August 2012, for the Italian mother-to-be, in England on a work placement at the time, to be enforced to give birth “by way of cesarean section.”

The pregnant lady was visiting the UK. She worked in the airline industry and was attending a fortnight’s training course for Ryanair at Stansted Airport, in Essex. It is reported that she suffered from bipolar disorder, and had missed a regular dose of her medication.  She then experienced a panic attack.

The panic attack was brought on by a momentary confusion about her other children’s passports.  She was worried she could not find them. She called the police.

In the scenario that ensued, she was then removed by the police from the airport hotel room she was staying in to a nearby psychiatric hospital and then restrained and sectioned under the terms and conditions of the Mental Health Act. Her mother in Italy was called, and she explained that her daughter was bipolar. Despite this, after five weeks in the hospital, the woman’s baby daughter was removed from her womb, by cesarean section, without her having given her consent.

All that she was told was that she could not have any breakfast. She was then forcibly sedated and taken to another hospital. When she came around, she had no idea what had happened to her. She had been unconscious. The baby was taken away by social services and she never saw her.

Unfortunately, the story just gets worse. The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was then returned to Italy, without her child. She has two other children and is divorced. The other children had been with her mother at the time of the trip to England.

The baby girl is now 15 months old and has spent her life in state care. Her mother came back to the UK in February to plead to be reunited with her. She was told by the Crown Court in Chelmsford, Essex that her daughter would be put up for adoption. The reason given was that there was a chance she would suffer from a relapse.   The mother, who is said to have made a full recovery, has still never seen her baby girl. The judge on this hearing agreed her condition had improved but the ruling still went ahead for adoption.

The Italian High Court has expressed its outrage at this treatment of an Italian citizen but it appears that the British courts have the jurisdiction. Director of the Human Rights Group, Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, has expressed the sense of shock and dismay felt by many on hearing of this woman’s plight, “At first blush” she said “ this is dystopian science-fiction unworthy of a democracy like ours.” She went on to say, “Forced surgery and separation of mother and child” is “the stuff of nightmares.”

An MP who is trying to bring about more openness and accountability in the family court, will discuss the case in Parliament. John Hemming said he hoped that the report would “shock people out of their complacency” adding that he feels that the family court is full of corrupt practices.  He called it the “worst case of human rights abuse I’ve ever seen” and said the lady in question was not “treated as a human being.”

There has been no comment from anyone at Essex County Council who carried out the forced cesarean section. The judge who gave permission for the procedure has been named as Mr. Justice Mostyn, although no explanation has been forthcoming as to why it could not have been a natural birth.  In a blunt statement, they have merely noted that, “The council does not comment on the circumstances of ongoing individual cases.”

Lawyer for the unnamed mother, Brendan Fleming said he has never heard of anything like this “in 40 years in the job.”  He pledged he would fight “tooth and nail” for the mother to be reunited with her baby.

As Christmas-time draws near, the potent imagery of a mother and a newborn child calls across the world as a symbol of love and hope. In this tragic story where a child was taken forcibly from her mother’s womb in a cesarean section she was oblivious to, love and hope are all she has left to fight with.

By Kate Henderson

The Independent


Daily Mirror

14 Responses to "Child Taken from Mother’s Womb in Forced Cesarean Section"

  1. Nestor Enrique Heredia   December 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

    This… This is an abomination. I´m pro-life all you want but this… This woman was treated like an object, like an human incubator. This is a human crime the grade of war crimes, I can´t even put in words how horrified I am for this. Everybody involved in this veredict should be shamed for life, I can´t put to word… Women have to have the final word about their bodies, I now understand it. Thank you Essex, you were my Auschwick.

  2. DAM   December 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Is it any wonder confidence in Childrens Services in Britain is at an all time low!!

  3. MJ   December 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    judges in the uk go against human rights everyday as do social services WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!! children are being stolen and trafficked to abusers and nobody cares about the childs rights and especially not the mothers rights.

  4. Tim C   December 2, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    If you read the original article, by Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph, you will see that the Italian lady is ¨amicably separated¨ from her husband. He appears to be a US citizen, and offered to support adoption with his sister, a US lawyer. Although the baby girl´s half-sister is American, the Court of Protection decided that the USA was an unsuitable place to rear the poor waif. An anti-American judge!
    It stinks of corruption, because UK Social Services have to meet adoption ´targets´or risk losing central government funding.

  5. C   December 2, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Disgusting. So very glad I don’t live in the UK.

  6. Randy Streu   December 2, 2013 at 6:45 am

    It seems to me it doesn’t matter WHERE this woman’s other children are, why her family didn’t intervene, or what the judge said. The fact is, this is an Italian national. Her child is an Italian national.

    This is international kidnapping, no matter who signed the order.

    And that’s only the first problem with all of this. The second is, the very idea of a forced Cesarian on ANYONE (let alone somebody who, again, is NOT a citizen of the country where it occurred) is a violation of personal sovereignty. This can’t be painted as anything other than tyranny.

  7. Jack Lawson   December 2, 2013 at 5:53 am

    to ArtonFairweather: That is the whole point. We would dearly like to get answers to all the questions you have posed, but we’re not getting them because of the secrecy surrounding this case, secrecy which may be to protect the vulnerable, but may equally well be to protect the guilty.

  8. Anon1   December 2, 2013 at 3:06 am

    ArtonFairweather – judges have got it wrong with forced cesarians before.

    Under English law a mentally competent pregnant woman has the right to deny medical intervention even if it would cause the death of the unborn baby. Understandably, this doesn’t sit comfortably with the family courts who are used to having ‘the welfare of the child’ as their first consideration.

    So, there are quite a few reported cases where they’ve got around this by being less than strict when deciding whether the mother has mental capacity or not.

    See for example,

  9. Julius Caesar   December 2, 2013 at 2:44 am

    It was Mcduff from Macbeth who was “untimely ripped”, not Julius Caesar.
    Caesar was removed via a surgical incision, and as a result the procedure is known as a Caesarean – but you’re muddling your quotes/history a bit.

  10. Chris Danes   December 2, 2013 at 2:20 am

    It is possible for senior judges to get it wrong , you know. I was at University with some of them.

  11. BJM   December 2, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Arton Fairweather, I do not need to ask any of questions you believe are relevant because I know how corrupt the Department of Social Services is. This is occurring at an alarming rate around the world and it is discussing. Up until the 1980s many children were forcibly removed from single mothers and it appears that nothing has been learnt from this as the Department of Social Services continue the crime on women diagnosed with an alleged mental illness.
    These crimes never seem to stop because when one group gets justice and laws to prevent this from happening to others, the perpetrators simply find a new group to victimize. We have seen this time and time again with indigenous populations such as the American Indians, Australian Aborigines and even large numbers of British children during the 2nd world war, as well as single mothers. In every case the victims spent years fighting for justice and they suffered a great deal. How can any civilised society justify this abuse of another human being?
    This woman was not offered any support; she was simply locked up then violated and thrown away like a piece of garbage. Yet the very people who did this have control over her child’s wellbeing and the mother’s future. It is appalling that these abusers (Social Services) are allowed to have this power over their victims and we should all stand up against it because we could very well be their (Social Services) next victim.

  12. liviaantonia   December 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    As a young bipolar woman (not in Britain I thank God) how am I supposed to ensure that this terrifying experience is not visited on me?

    • Lisa   December 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

      I’m thinking a similar thing, I’m not bi-polar as far as I know but I am British! I have suffered from depression my whole life and recently went to a doctor about it for the 1st time (which took a lot of guts I have to say). But now I regret it, now that I have been diagnosed as depressed could this happen to me? 🙁

  13. ArtonFairweather   December 1, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    This is not quite what it seems. The journalist who reported story, the MP and the solicitor have links to each other. The “facts” of the case are being buried in sensationalist, unattributed “statements”. Ask what happened to the children who were with the mother. Ask where her family were and why they did not intervene. Ask what the order made by the judge actually said. Ask why and whether a neutral, highly regarded senior judge who is fastidious in upholding human rights would order an “enforced” cesarian.


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