Nebraska court rules 16-year-old girl not mature enough for abortion

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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 rulingas 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?

Written By: Dan Arel
continue to source article at examiner.com

24 COMMENTS

  1. 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.

    This reflects on the insidious nature of religious bigotry creeping into the fostering and adoption systems, and then into the legal system.

    Faith-heads think they are above the law, as their “faith-thinking” confirms this inside their self-referential “faith-brains”!

    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.

    If he was active in an anti-abortion group, the judge should have been required to declare an interest, and withdraw in the interests of a fair hearing.

  2. The girl has more sense than this “judge”.(Why an anti -abortion person should be making a “judgement” in this case beats me.)
    Another thing that baffles me is the fact that some people are more concerned about a fetus than a living suffering human being.Actually make that TWO suffering beings.The lass and her child (if she goes ahead with the pregnancy.)

    The judgemental (pardon the pun) attitude of the holier than thou religiots makes me sick to my stomach.THEY always know what’s best for everyone and they are constantly poking their noses into business that has nothing whatsoever to do with them.

    This young lady living with foster parents may have already had an hellish life and instead of simplifying matters for her this judge is compounding her woes because of HIS PERSONAL BELIEFS.

    • In reply to #3 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

      The girl has more sense than this “judge”.(Why an anti -abortion person should be making a “judgement” in this case beats me.)
      Another thing that baffles me is the fact that some people are more concerned about a fetus than a living suffering human being.Actually make that TWO suffering beings.The…

      I’m beginning to wonder about the paternity. It would be ironic if the father was a family member. Piling injury on injury!

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      This woman should drive across the state lines, open a p.o. box, call it her residence and get her procedure done.

      I was wondering if somebody could help her (my guess is that she probably wouldn’t have access to a car on her own), but I also wondered if that person could be charged with kidnapping or something, since she is only 16 and doing something a lot of people don’t want her to do.

    • In reply to #5 by crookedshoes:

      This woman should drive across the state lines, open a p.o. box, call it her residence and get her procedure done.

      Strong implication by her lawyer- that’s what she had to resort to?

      “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.”

  3. Conflict of interest much? There’s no way that particular judge should have presided over this case.

    I wonder if the birth parents could be found, that might upset the balance of the law and allow her to get the abortion? Or is adoption a pretty strong legally-binding sort of thing?

    Not mature enough to have an abortion, but mature enough to go through the difficulties of childbirth (let alone motherhood, but I suspect the baby will be adopted out) at 16… the mind boggles.

    • In reply to #7 by ShadowMind:

      I wonder if the birth parents could be found, that might upset the balance of the law and allow her to get the abortion? Or is adoption a pretty strong legally-binding sort of thing?

      Found some more details here and here – she was at the hearing that was removing her from her biological parents’ legal hold due to abuse. I would have thought that in such situations, the local authority would have had power to consent on her behalf. Adoption is a total legal transfer of parental rights and would have simplified things.

      If it was me, I would have tried out of state. Fair play to her if she did and shame on those who would do this to a legally competent individual and prolong matters into the second trimester.

    • In reply to #10 by old-toy-boy:

      What if the child were adopted?

      Abortion shouldn’t be conflated with adoption. Abortion is decided in the first trimester of pregnancy and adoption is a decision made after birth. A mother/father can’t really know if adoption is a choice until there is a baby.

      • In reply to #19 by Shell:

        In reply to #10 by old-toy-boy:

        What if the child were adopted?

        Abortion shouldn’t be conflated with adoption. Abortion is decided in the first trimester of pregnancy and adoption is a decision made after birth. A mother/father can’t really know if adoption is a choice until there is a baby.

        And even if the woman decides right up front to put the child up for adoption it’s not as if you can tell her “well just 9 months and then you are done with it” Those 9 months are gruelling. As a guy I have no first hand experience but two good friends were pregnant and the toll it took on their bodies and minds, the way it disrupted absolutely every aspect of their lives, and the emotional toll both before and after, there is no way for those of us who haven’t experienced it to really appreciate it. It simply isn’t ethical, at least in my morality, for any person to force another person to go through that against their will. And both my friends were mature stable women with families who had made a decision to get pregnant at that point in their lives. For a young woman like this…

        Kind of off topic and on a lighter note, the change on one friend was especially surprising. She had been and now once again is one of the most hard working straight forward no BS business women I ever worked with. I always loved having her in meetings because while everyone one else was chit chatting or talking about everything except the meeting topic she could always be relied on to cut through the BS and keep us on track.

        During the last months of pregnancy she was literally a different woman. It’s hard to even describe, suddenly she was stopping to appreciate everything, forgetting things, commenting on things tangential to the discussion but often somehow relevant and on point. I would go into her office for my daily gripe session about some guy neither of us cared for and she would be telling me “he’s not so bad, you have to see it from his perspective…” I know this may sound like a cliche of a pregnant woman but I swear it was all true, she said it was a known medical condition which she summarized as “baby brain drain” but I kind of liked it, maybe because it brought out the protective instinct in me and she was one woman that in most cases would be more likely to protect me than vice versa.

      • In reply to #19 by Shell:

        #10 by old-toy-boy:What if the child were adopted?

        I read this as ‘What if the [pregnant girl] were adopted?’ Hence my comment that if she was, it would give her adoptive parents the right to say yes (assuming they agreed!).

        A first-time mother-to-be may not realise she’s pregnant or even show a bump until well into the second (or even third) trimester. I agree though that adoption isn’t an easy alternative. However, I’ve seen pregnant girls carry to term knowing early on they didn’t want to keep the child and an immediate fostering plan was put in place.

  4. “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.”

    Does the judge realise that it’s not a “baby”, but just a foetus?

    “In a secular country such as the United States, how are we allowing religious convictions of one person to influence the decisions of another?”

    “Secular”, the USA? yeah, right!

  5. …he asked the girl if she understood that an abortion would kill the baby inside her.

    Not baby. Foetus. A slimy blob of human cells, without consciousness, sense of the world, experiences, hopes or dreams. Oh the other hand, the mother is a conscious being who is not mature enough to be a mother, and that’s precisely the reason why she wants an abortion.

  6. It is not a matter of whether the surgery is safe. It is considerably safer than pregnancy. What he means is she is not mature enough to decide whether to bear a child or to have an abortion. So HE is going to decide for her, and make his decision based on his personal religion beliefs. That judge should be impeached. Sure this as a matter of law. He can’t just make up rules like this.

  7. “the judge ruled she was not mature enough to have an abortion.”

    I don’t get it, isn’t this MORE of a reason to allow for an abortion?
    What is the logic behind this? What if a little girl was raped and ended up being pregnant?
    Is she to become a mother according to this Judge’s reasoning?

    • In reply to #16 by Terra Watt:

      “the judge ruled she was not mature enough to have an abortion.”

      I don’t get it, isn’t this MORE of a reason to allow for an abortion?
      What is the logic behind this? What if a little girl was raped and ended up being pregnant?
      Is she to become a mother according to this Judge’s reasoning?

      I’m going to try not commenting on this because it makes me so angry I find it hard to be rational but yes I agree that kind of makes sense. Also, I don’t think its inconceivable that the father is also the one who impregnated her. I probably shouldn’t even mention that because I have zero evidence it’s true, just saying in an abusive house like that it’s not such a stretch. Either way this is just insane, once again I’m ashamed to be an American.

  8. Shit, at 16 we were driving half way across the country to go partying on our own. Why does the USA treat it’s people like such children. The only thing you can do in the USA as a young person is die in war.

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