LONDON – British social services forcibly removed a baby from a pregnant Italian woman’s womb by cesarean section while she was in the country on a work trip, a report said Saturday.
The woman was sedated and then had the girl taken out of her body after authorities in Essex obtained a court order, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said, citing her lawyers.
The authorities said the woman had suffered a mental breakdown and that they had acted in the best interests of the child, which is now 15 months old, the paper said.
The Italian mother has now launched a legal battle for the child, which is being put up for adoption by the social services. “I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job,” her lawyer, Brendan Fleming, told the paper.
The woman had flown into Britain in 2012 for a two-week Ryanair training course at Stansted Airport, north of London, when she suffered a panic attack, which her family believe was due to her failure to take medicine for a bipolar condition, the newspaper said.
A British lawmaker, John Hemming from the Liberal Democrat Party, is to raise the case in parliament this week.