The Nebraska Supreme Court denied a 16-year-old foster child’s request for an abortion on Friday because she was "not sufficiently mature" to make the decision herself. So instead, this immature young woman who does not want a baby will become a mother. Everyone wins.
The teenager, identified in the court ruling as Anonymous 5, showed evidence of mature reasoning at a confidential hearing. She worried that she didn’t have the financial resources to support a child or to be “the right mom that I would like to be right now.” Yet district judge Peter C. Bataillon, whom the Raw Story reports once served on the committee for an Omaha anti-abortion group, disagreed, and the Supreme Court upheld his ruling in a split vote of 5-2.
Since Anonymous 5 is a ward of the State Department of Health and Human Services—she actually requested the abortion at the confidential hearing dissolving the parental rights of her biological mother and father, who were physically abusive—she doesn’t have anyone to grant her consent. “She is in legal limbo—a quandary of the Legislature's making,” wrote Judge William Connolly in his Supreme Court minority opinion.
Katy Waldman is a Slate assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter.