HC Deb 16 May 1991 vol 191 c219W
Mr. Alton

To ask the Attorney-General whether he will consider seeking to amend the law in the light of the court decision overruling the wishes of a 12-year-old girl's mother as to whether the daughter should have an abortion; and if he will make a statement.

The Attorney-General

No. Where a child is a ward of court the High Court assumes parental responsibility including the duty to give or withhold consent to medical procedures. In discharging that duty the court must act as a good parent and treat the welfare of the child as the overriding consideration. The law governing the care and upbringing of children has been recently reformed by the Children Act 1989 which is expected to come into force in October this year. It will not prevent a court from overriding parental wishes in matters relating to children where their welfare is at risk, but it would be premature to make further changes in this area of the law until we have had a chance to see how that Act operates in practice.