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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 September, 2004, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
CPS examines late abortion case
Joanna Jepson
Ms Jepson challenged the police's refusal to prosecute
Police have sent a file to the Crown Prosecution Service following an investigation into the late abortion of a baby with a cleft lip and palate.

The move follows a judicial review of the case in April, brought by the Reverend Joanna Jepson who believes the operation breached abortion law.

Ms Jepson last year won her fight to challenge the police's refusal to prosecute the doctors involved.

The CPS will advise West Mercia Police on whether charges should be brought.

'Open mind'

Det Sup Ray Groves, who headed the investigation, said police inquiries into the case had been comprehensive.

"We have approached this investigation with an open mind and interviewed all the people associated with the case.

"A file of evidence has been completed and delivered to the Crown Prosecution Service who will advise us on what further inquiries, if any, need to be made, or what charges, if any, should be brought."

The abortion was carried out on a woman from Herefordshire in December 2001, after 24 weeks.

Ms Jepson, 27, challenged a refusal by police to bring charges against the doctors who carried out the abortion.

Her lawyers argued in the High Court that there should have been further investigations with a view to prosecution, because an abortion could never be justified under the 1967 Abortion Act on the basis that a cleft lip and palate were a serious handicap.

Reverend Joanna Jepson, Cleft Palate Association
"I will be pursuing the judicial review in May"

Q&A: Late abortions
01 Dec 03  |  Health
Curate wins abortion challenge
01 Dec 03  |  Health
Curate takes action over late abortion
19 Nov 03  |  Hereford/Worcs
Curate challenges late abortion
14 Nov 03  |  Hereford/Worcs
Cleft lip and palate
16 Jan 02  |  C-D

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