The Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that a 16-year-old foster child may not have an abortion because she’s not mature enough to decide on her own whether or not to have one.
Well if she’s not mature enough for that how is she mature enough to bear and raise a child? Oh that’s ok, they might say, she’ll just hand her baby over for adoption. How is she mature enough for that? If she’s not mature enough to decide whether or not to have an abortion she’s surely not mature enough to be pregnant at all. Children shouldn’t have babies, even babies they intend to give up for adoption.
The 5-2 decision denied the unnamed child’s request for an abortion, saying the girl had not shown that “she is sufficiently mature and well informed to decide on her own whether to have an abortion,” according to the ruling.
That necessarily means they think she is mature enough to decide to remain pregnant. But being pregnant is a momentous decision; surely it takes at least as much maturity and being well informed as does deciding to stop being pregnant.
The girl is not named in legal records, but is living with foster parents after the state terminated the parental rights of her biological parents after physical abuse and neglect. At the confidential hearing terminating those parental rights, she told the court that she was pregnant, and that she would not be financially capable of supporting a child or being “the right mom that [she] would like to be right now,” according to the court ruling. But she also told the court that she feared losing her placement in foster care if her highly-religious foster parents learned of her pregnancy.
Well the judges don’t care about that, because they’re mature enough not to need stable foster care. Lucky them.
The Omaha World-Herald interviewed her attorney, Catherine Mahern, who said “It is not in my client’s best interests to comment,” while noting that her client could go around the restrictions of Nebraska law by going to another state.
But speaking to the Houston Chronicle, Mahern said the girl didn’t need consent under the regulations of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, which states that “if a ward decides to have an abortion, the consent of the parent(s) or Department is not required.” Notification of the girl’s foster parents might be required, however.
Nebraska changed its abortion laws two years ago from requiring that parents of minors be informed to requiring written and notarized parental consent for an abortion. Exceptions may be made in cases of parental abuse, medical emergencies, or cases in which the minor is “sufficiently mature and well-informed” to decide whether to have an abortion.
The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the child did not meet that standard in this case.
Chip chip chip away at abortion rights. Mess up a life here and another life there, to make baby Jesus smile.