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Challenge to 'gender-abortion' justice costs adjourned

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A 23-year-old Christian woman, whose attempt to bring 'gender-abortion' doctors to justice was derailed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), has seen her challenge to the unjust costs awarded against her adjourned until January.

Aisling Hubert attempted to bring two doctors, who in 2012 were filmed offering 'gender-abortion', to justice.

But her private prosecution was derailed by the CPS, and she was asked to pay legal costs totalling £47,000.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Aisling appeared at Brighton and Hove Magistrates Court on Wednesday to ask for £36,000 of the total to either be cancelled or reduced.

The £36,000 in costs was awarded to pay for the two doctors' legal bills. The further £11,000 costs awarded against Aisling followed her attempt to challenge the CPS’ decision to intervene in the case.

While District Judge James was receptive to the application, he adjourned the case until 17 January, as he wanted to take into consideration the response of the two doctors’ lawyers.

Commenting on the decision, she said she was disappointed, but added: "I’m trusting in God’s timing, so I have peace."

'Female infanticide'

During an undercover investigation by a national newspaper in 2012, Manchester-based Dr Prabha Sivaraman and Birmingham-based Dr Palaniappan Rajmohan were separately filmed offering abortion to a pregnant woman who said that she was carrying a female child but did not want to have a baby girl.

At one point, Dr Rajmohan said, "it's like female infanticide, isn't it?" whilst Dr Sivaraman said, "I don't ask questions. If you want a termination, you want a termination."

But after a lengthy police investigation, the CPS decided not to proceed with the case, claiming that prosecution was not in the "public interest", despite acknowledging that there was sufficient evidence to give a realistic prospect of conviction.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Aisling launched private prosecutions against the two doctors.

CPS intervention

Despite having the key video evidence in its possession, the CPS refused to release it. A judge sitting at Manchester Crown Court also refused to order the full footage into evidence.

Aisling was then ordered to pay £36,000 in costs to the two doctors.

Dr Rajmohan had his registration suspended for three months by the General Medical Council as a result of the filmed consultations, but the GMC dropped its investigation into Dr Sivaraman.

'No resolution'

Speaking after Wednesday’s outcome, Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre, said:

"Sadly there has been no resolution to the case, the case has been adjourned.

"The judge on the case asked that the two doctors give further consideration as to whether they are prepared to accept a lower amount of costs with regards to the case.

"We’re hoping that they will, and they have until 17 January to consider that."

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23-year-old who pursued 'gender-abortion' justice faces crippling 47,000 legal bill