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NE Teen Ruled Too Immature for Abortion

Updated: Friday, October 11 2013, 08:38 AM EDT
A Nebraska teenager in foster care was denied access to an abortion, because the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled she wasn't mature enough to make that decision on her own, according to a court opinion published this month.

The 16-year-old girl, who was not named in the court opinion, was 10 weeks pregnant last May when she first asked a judge for a document that would allow her to obtain an abortion without parental consent. She explained that she wasn't financially ready to have a baby, and that she couldn't "be the right mom that [she] would like to be right now."

That same month, the court terminated her biological parents' parental rights, citing abuse and neglect, and made her a ward of the state, according to the court document. Her father was convicted of third-degree assault after he broke her collarbone and shoulder blade in 2011, and her mother had a drug problem, according to the court document.

She was placed in a foster home sometime in February.

The young woman said she worried that her foster parents would not allow her to have an abortion because of their strong religious beliefs, and would resent her and then tell her biological siblings that she was a "bad person," the document said.

The judge then asked her if she understood that an abortion would kill the fetus, according to the court document. She said she did. He then asked her whether she would "rather do that than to risk problems with the foster care people." Again, she said yes.

But the court concluded that the young woman wasn't mature enough to make the abortion decision on her own because she was financially dependent on her foster parents and had never lived on her own or mentioned any work experience.

As a result the judge ruled not to grant the waiver.


Photo courtesy: Getty ImagesNE Teen Ruled Too Immature for Abortion

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