Slate reports that a 16-year-old girl in foster care in Nebraska was recently deemed by a court to be too immature to get an abortion, but she was then ordered to keep the baby.
The judge decided the teen, known as Anonymous 5 in order to protect her identity, was “not sufficiently mature” enough to be granted an abortion. Although the girl stated to the court that she lacked the financial resources to raise the baby or to be “the right mom that I would like to be right now,” State Supreme Court Justice Peter C. Bataillon disagreed. The court had voted 5-2 in favor of the girl.
Nebraska is one of eight states that require girls age 17 or younger to obtain written, notarized consent from a parent or guardian before undergoing an abortion. Because Anonymous 5 is a ward of the state, having waived the parental rights of her abusive mother and father years ago, Judge Bataillon was able to uphold his ruling.
Slate reports that Bataillon asked the young girl if she knew that “When you have the abortion, it’s going to kill the child inside of you,” relating to his own ties to several anti-abortion groups. Although Judge Bataillon suggested that the teen’s foster parents could function as her legal guardians, Anonymous 5 declined, citing their strong religious beliefs and her fear that she would lose her placement with the family.
This ruling happened three months ago when the girl was 10 weeks pregnant. Although the girl’s attorney, Catherine Mahern, declined to say whether her client was still pregnant, she did tell Omaha that there are ways for minors to bypass the court ruling, such as traveling to a different state.