Court to decide if mentally-challenged woman should have abortion

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Nevada couple fights judge over hearings they fear could force them to end disabled daughter’s pregnancy

Fox News: In a case watched by national anti-abortion organizations, a Nevada couple is trying to block a judge from holding hearings that it fears could result in the termination of their mentally disabled daughter’s pregnancy.

The couple filed a motion asking the Nevada Supreme Court to halt the proceedings by Washoe County District Judge Egan Walker, arguing he lacks authority to make such a decision for their 32-year-old daughter, who has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old.

The couple says they have exclusive authority over their daughter’s health care decisions as her legal guardians, and both they and the woman want to carry the baby to term in line with their Catholic religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court has set a noon Monday deadline for the judge and county officials to respond to the request to halt evidentiary hearings into the woman’s health. The hearings are scheduled to resume Tuesday.

The couple acknowledges the pregnancy poses health risks to their daughter and the baby, but they say medical experts back them in their decision to continue the pregnancy. The woman was living in a Reno group home when she wandered away from it and became pregnant 13 weeks ago. The child’s father has not been identified, said attorney Jason Guinasso, who represents the Nevada couple.

Guinasso said it’s unknown whether the pregnancy resulted from rape or consensual sex, and The Associated Press is not naming the woman or her parents because it remains unclear. The circumstances are under investigation by the county public guardian’s office.

“Does she understand all the risk? I doubt it,” said Guinasso. “But we do know the guardians understand the risk, and they’re the ones given the authority and responsibility to make the decision. They have a perfectly healthy baby and mother.”

Six couples have expressed an interest in adopting the baby, they woman’s parents said.

At a court hearing Thursday, two medical experts testified that the pregnancy carries risks because the woman has epilepsy and is on medication. But they split on whether the pregnancy should be terminated.

Last month, the judge denied the couple’s request to allow the woman to move back home with them and to halt the proceedings. Deputy District Attorney Dania Reid stressed there has been no motion or discussion to order an abortion in the case.

She noted Walker appointed the county public guardian’s office as a “neutral fact-finder” to investigate the pregnant woman’s condition in regard to her medical, psychiatric and group home care. “It’s not the county’s role in this case to make any findings of conclusions whether or not this pregnancy should continue,” Reid told The Associated Press. “That’s entirely up to the court.

Olivia Gans Turner, spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based organizations National Right to Life and American Victims of Abortion, said the Nevada couple have drawn the support of pro-life advocates nationwide.

“This is a cause we support,” she said. “It’s definitely their right to protect their daughter’s right to have a child and to protect the life of their grandchild. There’s no reason for this woman to be subjected to the danger and risk of an abortion because someone else thinks she’s not worthy of having a child because of her mental condition.”

If the parents are her legal guardians, then why in the heck does any court have any say in this matter? Why can’t their daughter move home with them so they can take care of their child and grandchild? It’s not like the parents are abusing her, such as when many courts step in.  She’s pregnant is all.  I know a woman who has epilepsy and she carried her baby to term just fine.

Do you think the court should have the final say in this matter?


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0 responses to “Court to decide if mentally-challenged woman should have abortion

  1. You know we’ve reached a low point when abortion is not only allowed but forced. This reminds me of a case in England where due to their socialized medicine they refused to save a premature baby that the mother wanted. The baby was “too young” in gestation. They have an age limit at which they consider a baby human and worth saving.

  2. It’s very clear, the parents are her guardians. Period end of subject. Who took it upon them selves to stick their noses in these peoples business.

  3. This –and many other moral crimes– come about whenever the State has accepted a cost-accounting approach to the enforcement of its laws. Every act and procedure is given a price tag; when this is exceeded, the support comes to an abrupt end. You will not see this stated as such, but I’ve been told by people within government that this is the case.

    Sometime in the past it was decided that when the total annual expenditure on each prisoner, social ward, or other State captive is met, then no further expenditure will be allowed. If this woman is allowed to have her baby [an unexpected expense] then the State has the cost of that and support for the child as well, therefore it cannot be allowed. Think of it as a kind of triage to shrink government involvement and responsibility as low as possible to meet some accountant’s figures. It also allows a politician to say that s/he was not responsible: “the State did it.”

  4. Those people who did stick their noses into the folk’s business needs to be shot and heads left on a pole!

    • Gadzooks, there’d be gazillions of the guilty ones!! The Japanese did this under the samurai code in the Tokugawa era; I thought it had some good points to it….

  5. The government should not be allowed to decide who lives or dies, including babies. That’s a slippery slope. What’s next, deciding if a mentally or physically challenged person or someone with Alzheimers is allowed to live? There large numbers of people out there wanting to adopt. My son and daughter in law adopted two baby brothers, whose mother had 15 children already and was going to jail for drugs and forgery. There’s never an excuse to murder an innocent. STOP THE GENOCIDE

  6. Govertnment should not interfere. Let the guardian decide. Guardian’s decision shall be final. Further, Government should encourage marriages of mentally challenged persons as no body on earth could deny the right of living and enjoying the life like normal people do ; in a manner they prefer so long as it is not illegal. We, in Sociiety should endorse the views of the grand parents in this case.


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