This is horrible.
The girl, who is not named in the opinion, was living with foster parents this year when a juvenile court terminated the parental rights of her biological parents, who had physically abused and neglected her. In a closed hearing this summer, she told Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon she was 10 weeks pregnant and asked for a court order allowing an abortion. She said she would not be able to financially support a child and feared she might lose her foster placement if her foster parents, whom she described as having strong religious beliefs, learned of her pregnancy.
Unfortunately she lives in Nebraska.
Nebraska law was changed in 2011 from requiring minors to inform parents of an abortion to requiring them to get the written, notarized consent of a parent or guardian. Exceptions are limited to cases of abuse by the parent or guardian, medical emergencies and instances in which the minor is sufficiently mature and well-informed to decide whether to have an abortion.
If a woman isn’t “sufficiently mature and well-informed” then she should be forced to have a child? What a crock of lard. What if she’s insufficiently healthy, should she have twins? What if she’s developmentally disabled, should she be inseminated by the state? There’s not a shred of logic here. The provision is a pile of mumbo-jumbo meant to give pro-life judges license to do whatever the hell they please. Which, of course:
Bataillon rejected the girl’s request, saying that for the purpose of her case, her foster parents would serve as her guardians — even though, under Nebraska law, the department is considered the guardian of wards. Bataillon also found that the girl had not shown she was mature enough to make the decision to seek an abortion.
And how did he come to that opinion?
[The girl’s lawyer] also said Bataillon should have recused himself because he was not impartial, as evidenced by his asking the girl if she knew that, “When you have the abortion, it’s going to kill the child inside you.”
Annoyingly, she persisted in wanting the abortion. Which is no doubt the reason why she wasn’t “sufficiently mature and well-informed.” So now, having been judged officially childish and idiotic, the young woman has to carry her pregnancy to term. Fuck Nebraska.