This story is all kinds of fucked up: a pregnant woman in Essex, UK, was sedated and had her baby forcibly taken from her womb via C-section because she was not taking her medication for bipolar disorder. The child is now 15-months-old and in the care of social services. The woman, an Italian who was in the UK for a Ryanair training course, is now trying to get her child back.
According to the UK’s Telegraph, the woman could not find passports for her two daughters and suffered a panic attack, possibly while off her medication for bipolar disorder, so she called the police for help. Concerned about her state, they took her to a psychiatric facility. When she eventually asked to leave, they held her under the Mental Health Act. After five weeks in the psychiatric ward, social services went even further and obtained a court order allowing the woman to be sedated so doctors could forcibly take the child out her womb. They did so without the woman’s consent and without consulting the woman’s family at all. Afterwards, she was escorted back to Italy without her newborn daughter.
Obviously this is a gross mistreatment of the woman’s reproductive rights. Lawyers for the women called the incident “unprecedented.”
The child’s mother claims to have made a full recovery (likely meaning she is taking her medication for bipolar disorder regularly now, as it is not something one recovers from). Social services, however, has not indicated they will return the child to her and are also unwilling to allow the child to be adopted by a family member, because that person does not have a “blood tie” to the child.
This whole story is like some grotesque version of baby snatchers. This should be an extremely scary prospect to all mothers who struggle with mental illnesses and any pregnant woman who has so much as a panic attack while traveling in the UK.
Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.