The imminent closure of Downpatrick Maternity Hospital is facing a legal challenge from a woman whose baby is due to be born there later this month. Marie Perry (19), from Ballymote Walk, Downpatrick, is due to have her first baby delivered in the hospital on January 23. The maternity unit is widely expected to close at the end of this month. Ms Perry is seeking a judicial review in Belfast’s high court of the closure decision by Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust, which is responsible for the management of the hospital. She claims her life and that of her unborn baby could be at risk if the birth is delayed and she has to be admitted to another hospital. Ms Perry’s solicitors, Madden and Finucane, claimed in papers lodged in court that the closure is in breach of the right to life enshrined in the new human rights legislation. They also argued that the closure decision is rendered meaningless by the review of hospital services being conducted at the request of the assembly executive. The papers stated that there are other, less radical, options available which would maintain the provision of maternity services in Downpatrick.