Mother of five Sue Axon’s appeal for a judicial review of government guidelines on teenage abortions ended after a three-day hearing at the High Court last week.
Axon, who has two teenage daughters, launched her campaign after the Department of Health’s “best practice” guidelines were introduced in July last year.
Her lawyers argued that the guidelines contravene a parent’s right to respect for family life, as enshrined in article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
But the government, backed by the Family Planning Association, said the guidelines make clear that doctors should encourage any teenager requesting an abortion to consult her parents, or failing that a relative or responsible adult. Defending the policy in court, representatives from the Family Planning Association said the notion that parents are always best placed to know what is right for their child’s sexual health was “paternalistic” and “outdated”.
Mr Justice Silber is likely to take at least two weeks to deliver a judgement on whether to allow a judicial review of the guidelines.