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Monday, 26 March, 2001, 09:04 GMT 10:04 UK
Abortion for court fight woman
Stephen Hone
Stephen Hone: Tried to stop the abortion
The woman whose former partner went to the High Court in a bid to stop her having an abortion, has had her pregnancy terminated.

Stephen Hone, 24, from Coventry hoped to stop Claire Hansell, 31, from ending the pregnancy.

Last week, Mr Hone claimed a "partial victory" in court after the clinic where the abortion was due take place said it would carry out further medical checks before carrying out the termination.

But Ms Hansell's solicitors said on Monday that she had already had the abortion.


Ms Hansell has undergone a lawful abortion

Sarah Leslie,
Irwin Mitchell solicitors
Sara Leslie, of law firm Irwin Mitchell, said in a statement: "Ms Hansell has undergone a lawful abortion."

Sales consultant, Mr Hone, who has two children from a previous relationship, had said he would take care of a baby if Ms Hansell continued with the pregnancy.

But he also said he would seek access to the unborn baby's remains so he could arrange a funeral for the foetus.

Ms Leslie said: "I consider Mr Hone's application to deliver up the foetus to be macabre.

"The unfortunate circumstances faced by Ms Hansell are being cynically exploited by the anti-abortionist lobby to generate media interest for the forthcoming general election."

High Court

In the High Court last week, lawyers for Mr Hone successfully argued that the abortion could not go ahead at one clinic because only one doctor had been consulted, instead of two.

They also complained Ms Hansell had not been asked about her physical or mental state, nor why she wanted to have an abortion.

The Calthorpe Nursing Home in Edgbaston. Birmingham gave what Family Division judge Mr Justice Sumner said was a "highly responsible and helpful" undertaking that, it would not rely on the certificate signed by the doctor originally seen by Ms Hansell.

It also said if an abortion did take place after the proper procedures had been followed, that they would not dispose of the foetus without first giving seven days' notice to Mr Hone.

After last week's court case, Mr Hone said: "It is a victory in one sense but a loss in the sense that it has still not prevented the abortion of my child."

He also said he was attempting to contact Ms Hansell to discover the fate of the unborn baby, and "just to know that she is all right."

Currently under the law neither the father nor the foetus have any rights until the child is born.

In 1987 Oxford student Robert Carver tried to stop his pregnant girlfriend from having an abortion. The High Court ruled against him, as did the Court of Appeal.

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See also:

20 Mar 01 | Health
Decision in abortion fight case
28 Nov 00 | Euthanasia
The pro-life view
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