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Appeal court reserves judgement in pregnancy 'crime' case

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment on whether a pregnant woman committed "a crime of violence" against her child when she drank a "grossly excessive" amount of alcohol while pregnant.

After a day-long hearing Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Lady Justice King, said the court would take time to consider its decision.

Lawyers for child "CP", who cannot be named for legal reasons, asked three judges to rule in a test case that the girl, now aged seven, is entitled to compensation after being born with an alcohol-related disorder.

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Drinking while pregnant 'criminalisation' fears

Credit: Press Association Images

The Court of Appeal is to decide in a test case whether a pregnant woman committed "a crime of violence" against her child when she drank alcohol to excess while pregnant.

Lawyers for child "CP", who cannot be named for legal reasons, are asking three judges to rule the seven-year-old is entitled to compensation as a victim of violent crime after being born with an alcohol-related disorder.

If the appeal succeeds, it could pave the way for pregnant women's behaviour to be criminalised, according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) and Birthrights.

However, a lawyer representing the unnamed council told ITV's Good Morning Britain programme that the case is about the "rights of the unborn child."

Drinking while pregnant case 'about rights of unborn child'

A court case being heard today on criminal injuries compensation, for a child whose mother drank during pregnancy, could pave the way to the criminalisation of pregnant women's behaviour two leading women's charities are warning.

Neil Sugarman, the lawyer representing the unnamed council, told ITV's Good Morning Britain programme that the case wasn't about the "criminalisation" of women, but the rights of the unborn child.

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Dads 'want to share experience of birth with partner'

Fathers are more likely to be in the delivery room for their child's birth today partly because of the increase in family planning in recent decades, according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas).

"Comprehensive family planning services mean couples today are able to make decisions about the timing and size of their families, and become parents together through choice, not by accident," said Clare Murphy, director of external affairs at charity bpas.

"Far from feeling forced into the delivery suite, dads want to be there to share the experience and support their partner," she added.

'One in 20 fathers' avoids being present for child's birth

One in five fathers avoids being in the delivery room when their baby is born, according to a new poll of around 500 parents.

The vast majority of fathers now attend their child's birth. Credit: Daniel Karmann/DPA/Press Association Images

However the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Bpas) said the number of fathers who help their parters through labour had risen "dramatically" since the 1960s.

In 1960, only one in ten fathers was in the delivery room, compared to 95% today..

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