A 16-year-old Nebraskan girl who had to petition the Nebraska Supreme Court for her federally protected right to an abortion was denied when the judge ruled she was not mature enough to have an abortion. Oddly enough, they believe she is mature enough to be a mother.
According to Slate:
The teenager, identified in the court ruling as Anonymous 5, showed evidence of mature reasoning at a confidential hearing. She worried that she didn’t have the financial resources to support a child or to be “the right mom that I would like to be right now.” Yet district judge Peter C. Bataillon, whom the Raw Story reports once served on the committee for an Omaha anti-abortion group, disagreed, and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling in a split vote of 5-2.
Before the judge issued the ruling on October 4th, he asked the girl if she understood that an abortion would kill the baby inside her.
The girl, who had to go to the courts because of Nebraska's parental consent laws after her foster parents refused to allow her abortion because they held strong religious beliefs. In a secular country such as the United States, how are we allowing religious convictions of one person to influence the decisions of another?
Jezebel does report a small piece of better news:
Catherine Mahern, the attorney representing the girl, said her client went before Douglas County District Judge Peter Bataillon in July. At the time, the girl was 10 weeks pregnant.
Mahern declined to say whether the girl is still pregnant, three months later. “It is not in my client's best interests to comment,” she said.
She noted there are ways for a minor to bypass parental consent other than through the courts. Among them is going to another state, she said.
Religious beliefs have zero place in US law, a girl who is old enough to make the decision to be sexually active is also old enough to make her own decisions on what to do with her body. The decision to keep or terminate a pregnancy should not be left up to parents or a court. The mixing of religion and law must come to an end.