A 16-year-old pregnant girl from Florida has been denied an abortion after a judge ruled she was too immature to decide she should terminate her pregnancy.
The teenager – referred to only as Jane Doe 22-B – had not established “that she was mature enough to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy”. according to a court ruling by Judge Jennifer J. Frydrychowicz.
The decision was upheld Monday by the Florida 1st District Court of Appeals in Escambia County. An appeals court order may force the teenager to become a mother.
Jane is “nearly seventeen and has no parents,” according to the document.
The decision also states that she lives with a parent and has an appointed guardian who approves of her decision. She is “pursuing a GED with involvement in a program designed to help young women who have experienced trauma in their lives.”
The teenager is in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families until her 18th birthday.
Jane had sought a court order approving an abortion about 10 weeks into her pregnancy, required for minors under Florida law. She asked for a “judicial circumvention”, which usually involves minors who wish to circumvent parental authorization, according to the newspaper.
Her petition stated that she was mature enough to decide whether or not to terminate her pregnancy – which is required under state law – and she wrote that she “is not ready to have a baby. “.
She is currently unemployed, still in school, and “the father is unable to help her”, according to court documents.
She also recently experienced the death of a close friend.
Judge Scott Makar, in a separate opinion, wrote that “reading between the lines, it appears that the trial court wanted to give the minor, who was under additional stress due to the death of a friend, a additional time to express a better understanding of the consequences of terminating a pregnancy.”
She had previously expressed her desire to have the child, but later changed her mind after considering her inability to care for a child in her current situation in life,” Makar wrote.
The decision is still open to further appeal, as it was not dismissed with prejudice. Joan
“may be able, at a later date, to adequately articulate his claim, and the Court may reassess its decision at that time,” the judge wrote.
Additionally, the teenager’s assertion that her guardian was aware of and “agreed” with her decision to seek an abortion would mean that all she would have to do is submit a written waiver from the guardian so that ” the minor need not invoke the judicial circumvention procedure at all.”
However, Florida’s restrictive abortion laws prohibit the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy, leaving little time to make a decision.
Frydrychowicz described Jane as “credible” and wrote that she “has shown, at times, that she is stable and mature enough to make this decision”.
Makar said the court noted that the teenager “recognizes that she is not ready to take on the emotional, physical or financial responsibility of raising a child” and “has valid concerns about her ability to raise a child.” child”.