Abortion, Family Law

State’s Restrictive Abortion Law Leads To Legal Confusion

Anti-abortion forces are winning. State by state, legislature by legislature, attempts to take away a woman’s right to control her own body have been wildly successful. At this point, only Oregon has no restriction on abortion rights. And liberals are afraid to challenge these laws at the Supreme Court because people like Antonin Scalia don’t even think women should be allowed to curse, much less control their own reproductive rights.

I know it’s futile to ask people who think that their religious beliefs should trump other people’s physical autonomy to engage in dispassionate logic. Otherwise they’d be making anti-abortion pills… sorry, I mean “birth control pills” free and readily available. But can’t they at least think through their anti-choice laws before they impose them on secular society?

For instance, a recent Nebraska abortion restriction forces minors to get the consent of a parent or guardian before getting an abortion. But what about people who don’t have a parent or a guardian? Can you believe that they literally didn’t think of that? And the state supreme court just stepped in to say that even though they have no clue how to deal with this situation, it’s totally okay…

The Nebraska case involves a 16-year-old girl in foster care. She was removed from her parents’ home because of physical abuse. Her foster parents might not be her legal guardians for giving consent. Who is she supposed to ask under Nebraska’s consent law?

Nobody knows, least of all the Nebraska Supreme Court. Nonetheless, a majority of that court ruled that she still had to seek consent before getting the procedure, even though they don’t seem to know who is supposed to give her that consent. From the Omaha-World Herald:

Passed last year, the law requires girls age 17 and younger to get written, notarized consent from a parent or guardian for an abortion. Previous state law required only that a parent be notified of a girl’s plans for an abortion.

The new law allows girls to bypass the consent provision in medical emergencies, if they are victims of abuse or neglect or if they can convince a judge that they are mature and well-­informed enough to make the decision themselves.

The high court said the girl is not currently a victim of abuse, even though she was removed from her parents two years ago because of physical abuse and neglect. Her parents lost their parental rights earlier this year.

The court ruled that the girl was still a minor because she still lived with her foster parents. But it also appears the court also had its own ideas about how a mature lady should act. From the ABA Journal:

Though she obtained abortion counseling, the Nebraska Supreme Court said, she “presented no evidence regarding her understanding of the emotional and psychological consequences of abortion or of the immediate and long-range implications of the procedure.”

The girl did say she understood, however, when the lower court judge informed her that “when you have the abortion it’s going to kill the child inside you.”

On appeal, the girl’s lawyers argued the judge showed a lack of impartiality because of that statement and should have recused himself. But the supreme court didn’t reach the issue because it wasn’t raised before the district court. Nor did it reach the issue of whether her guardians were her foster parents or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, or whether the department is legally barred from giving its consent.

The hypocrisy of these people amazes me. They claim to care about the unborn fetus inside this girl, but they don’t give a s**t about the 16-year-old child abuse victim who might have an unwanted baby while living in foster care. And if she brings the baby term but later needs, I don’t know, HEALTH CARE for the child or, GOD FORBID, requires government assistance to buy food, these same people will call her a “taker” and bitch about the plight of small businessmen. They care about alleged babies right up until birth. Then the babies can go f**k themselves.

Again, if you think 16-year-old girls should be forced to continue being pregnant against their will if their parents or guardians so decree, could you at least think through what should happen to girls who have no parents or guardians? That’s not an unforeseeable circumstance.

Meanwhile, I’ll just hope that making the world worse for functional orphans causes at least one “pro-life” person to think critically about the children they should be fighting for.

Nebraska Supreme Court rejects foster child’s abortion request [Omaha World Herald]
‘Legal limbo’ for foster child seeking abortion? Neb. decision doesn’t decide who must give consent [ABA Journal]

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