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Pregnant 16-year-old not ‘mature’ enough for abortion, court says


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A Florida judge has ruled that a pregnant 16-year-old girl cannot have an abortion because she is not “mature enough” to terminate her pregnancy.

An appeals court on Monday upheld a lower court ruling barring the girl, referred to as Jane Doe 22-B in court documents, from benefiting from the procedure, according to a ruling by Judge Jennifer J. Frydrychowicz. . The parentless teenager was seeking a waiver of a state law requiring minors to obtain parental consent for an abortion.

She had told the trial court that she was not ready for a baby, that she had no job and that the baby’s father was unable to help her. She lives with a parent and has an appointed guardian who “agrees” with her decision. The girl also said she was “pursuing a GED by participating in a program designed to help young women who have experienced trauma in their lives.”

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A Florida judge has ruled that a pregnant 16-year-old girl cannot have an abortion because she is not “mature enough” to terminate her pregnancy.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The teenager is in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families until she turns 18.

She had applied for a court order seeking approval for the abortion when she was 10 weeks pregnant. She argued in her petition that she was mature enough to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy, which is required by state law.

But the young girl proved too immature to decide the fate of her unborn child after failing to properly articulate her request. However, the decision could be appealed and reassessed at a later date.

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She had told the trial court that she was not ready for a baby, that she had no job and that the baby's father was unable to help her.

She had told the trial court that she was not ready for a baby, that she had no job and that the baby’s father was unable to help her.
(AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner, File)

Judge Scott Makar wrote in a separate opinion that the girl had recently experienced the death of a close friend and the court wanted to give her more time to assess her decision.

“Reading between the lines, it appears the trial court wanted to give the minor, who was under additional stress due to the death of a friend, additional time to express a better understanding of the consequences of a hiatus. pregnancy,” Makar wrote. “It makes sense given that the minor, at least at one point, said she was open to having a child, but then changed her mind after considering her inability to care for a child in his current situation in life.”

The teen is in the custody of the Florida Department of Children & Families until he turns 18.

The teen is in the custody of the Florida Department of Children & Families until he turns 18.
(AP)

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Florida’s “Parental Advice and Abortion Consent Act” states that physicians must receive written consent from a parent or legal guardian before performing an abortion on a minor, except medical emergencies or when there is a parent or guardian waiver.

The state’s new abortion law, passed after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June banned the procedure after 15 weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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