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R v Bourne [1938] 3 All ER 615

A 14 year old girl was raped by five soldiers and became pregnant as a result. An eminent gynaecologist performed an abortion on her and was charged with the offence of conducting an illegal abortion. He was acquitted. Mr Justice Macnaghten:

“If the doctor is of the opinion, on reasonable grounds and with adequate knowledge, that the probable consequence of the continuance of the pregnancy will be to make the woman a physical or mental wreck, the jury are entitled to take the view that the doctor is operating for the purpose of preserving the life of the mother”
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