Florida Judges Bar 16-Year-Old Girl From Having Abortion Due To Lack Of ‘Maturity’
A Florida appeals court kept in place a previous ruling denying a 16-year-old an abortion, citing a lack of “maturity” to make that decision.
The girl, referred to as Jane Doe 22-B, requested 10 weeks into her pregnancy for accommodation to the state law that requires individuals under 18 to gain parental consent before having an abortion. A circuit judge had said she could not get an abortion without parental approval, even though the teen is parentless, according to court documents. Doe does, however, have a guardian who had said they would allow her to terminate her pregnancy.
The teen wrote in her petition that she doesn’t have a job and the father is not present. She also wrote that she is on track to earn a GED through a program that helps women who have suffered through traumas in an effort to establish maturity.
In addition, she wrote that a close friend died soon after she learned she was pregnant, contributing to the trauma she has endured and to her reasoning for her request for an abortion.
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The judges agreed that there was not “clear and convincing evidence that she was sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy.”
“Reading between the lines, it appears that the trial court wanted to give the minor, who was under extra stress due to a friend’s death, additional time to express a keener understanding of the consequences of terminating a pregnancy,” the judges added. “This makes some sense given that the minor, at least at one point, says she was open to having a child, but later changed her view after considering her inability to care for a child in her current station in life.”
In Florida, abortions are currently outlawed after 15 weeks, but that timeline is being challenged in the state courts.
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