<\body> Stories in America: Judges Determine Fate of Yong Women

Monday, November 14, 2005

Judges Determine Fate of Yong Women

This is what happens in states with parental notification laws on the books:
A Lakeland-based appellate court ruled late Thursday that a 17-year-old girl could get an abortion without telling her parents.

In doing so, it overturned the decision of a Polk circuit judge, who had denied the girl a waiver to a new law requiring a minor to notify her parents before having an abortion.
The girl's name has not been revealed, but The Ledger printed this description of her background:
The girl -- who will turn 18 in about a month -- still lives with her parents and comes from a Catholic family. She lives in the 10th Judicial Circuit, which consists of Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.

She graduated from high school with an "impressively high grade- point average" and now attends a nearby post-secondary school.

The girl testified that she became pregnant by her steady boyfriend whom she intends to marry in the next year.

She said her desire to have an abortion is "not at all" motivated by pressure from her boyfriend.

Instead, the girl said she isn't prepared financially or otherwise to support a child. She would have to sacrifice her education and work full-time.

Although she has a good relationship with her parents, the girl said they would "adamantly oppose her decision" to have an abortion and might kick her out.
Despite this girl's situation, Judge Charles A. Davis Jr. dissented, saying she failed to show sufficient maturity to make such a decision.
"Her decision to immediately seek termination without seeking any other information or counseling establishes her failure to show by clear and convincing evidence that she possesses sufficient maturity to be entitled to bypass relief," Davis wrote.
In other words, she's not mature enough to terminate her pregnancy, but is mature enough to have a baby.


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