A 16-year-old ward of the state in Nebraska isn’t mature enough to have an abortion. She is, however, apparently mature enough to bear the child instead.
So ruled the Nebraska Supreme Court in a split decision Friday.
The 5-2 decision denied the unnamed child’s request for an an abortion, saying the girl had not shown that “she is sufficiently mature and well informed to decide on her own whether to have an abortion,”
There is some contradictory information in the article. At one point,
regulations of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, are quoted as “if a ward decides to have an abortion, the consent of the parent(s) or Department is not required.”
Nebraska changed its abortion laws two years ago from requiring that parents of minors be informed to requiring written and notarized parental consent for an abortion. Exceptions may be made in cases of parental abuse, medical emergencies, or cases in which the minor is “sufficiently mature and well-informed” to decide whether to have an abortion.
Apparently, the court didn’t believe she was mature enough to make the decision herself.
At the confidential hearing terminating those parental rights, she told the court that she was pregnant, and that she would not be financially capable of supporting a child or being “the right mom that [she] would like to be right now,” according to the court ruling. But she also told the court that she feared losing her placement in foster care if her highly-religious foster parents learned of her pregnancy.
So, she knew:
- her only home might disappear if her pregnancy was known to her foster parents;
- she has no money, or means of earning any to support herself, let alone her and a child;
- she knows she is not emotional capable of being teh type of parent she wants to be for a child.
And knowing all those things didn’t make her mature enough to make a decision on whether or not to be a mother? I know so many women who aren’t self aware enough to acknowledge these and considered themselves mature enough to rear a child.
I guess in some people’s minds, maturity means making the decision they want you to make.