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Judge Resumes Hearing to Force Abortion on Mentally Disabled Woman

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 11/6/12 1:34 PM

State

A Reno judge is scheduled to resume deliberations today in a case that could have him forcing a mentally disabled woman to have an abortion, despite her legal guardians’ request to allow her to carry the pregnancy to term.

UPDATE: LifeNews has learned the Nevada Supreme Court has denied the attorney’s writ to stop the forced abortion. As a result, the county can proceed with its case in court.

An attorney for the guardians asked the Nevada Supreme Court to step in, because he is concerned a Washoe County District Judge may rule that the woman in question must have an abortion. Because of that, attorney Jason Guinasso filed an emergency request with the state’s highest court to end the legal proceedings and allow the woman to carry the pregnancy to term.

Guinasso says Judge Egan Walker does not have the legal authority to force the woman to have the abortion or hold legal hearings on the matter. He is representing the adoptive parents of the 32-year-old woman. He says if the guardians, who want her to have the baby, are overruled in court, that Washoe County Social Services should have filed paperwork with the court as to why it was forcing the woman to have the abortion. Local officials have not done that.

The Nevada Supreme Court issued an order saying it would examine the case.

“Having considered the petition, it appears that petitioners have set forth issues of arguable merit and that petitioners may have no plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the law,” it said.

“We are very pleased the Nevada Supreme court has taken this matter up and is forcing someone to address whether the District Court have the legal authority to conduct these rogue proceedings,” Guinasso told LifeNews late Friday. “We are also pleased the Nevada Supreme Court has recognized the merits of our position that the District Court does not have that authority [under state law.]”

However, the state’s high court took no action Monday to halt the hearings by Judge Walker and, as a result, he is expected to continue looking into the potential abortion today. Yesterday, Judge Walker asked the Nevada Supreme Court to let him proceed hearing medical evidence to determine if he can force her to have an abortion. Walker says it’s “contrary to law” to prevent him from gathering evidence in the case.

The attorney indicated he is also looking at getting help from federal courts if the state court is not sympathetic.

Over the course of the next few weeks, a series of additional evidentiary proceedings will be conducted.  Testimony will be taken from a number of witnesses and experts, including a psychologist who is conducting an evaluation of the woman.

After all of the testimony is taken, the last hearing will feature arguments addressing whether she has the mental capacity to understand the risks of pregnancy and whether she is competent to make a decision about carrying her unborn child to term and if she had the mental capacity to understand the risks of her pregnancy, would she decide to carry the pregnancy to term or would she elect to have an abortion.

The pro-life group merican Life League urges the Nevada Supreme Court to halt forced abortion. Paul E. Rondeau, executive director of American Life League, issued a statement to LifeNews:

The evolving court case in Nevada on government-mandated abortions, usurping individual rights and infringing on religious freedom, is both a sad commentary and a klaxon warning of the growing assault on freedom in this great country.

It is particularly confounding that, with families already waiting to adopt this baby (even if he or she is a special needs child), courts will defend abortion as a right to privacy; but when a parent decides to keep a child, the court does not automatically assume that same legal precept.

Uninvited and without compelling interests, the state has intruded into a private matter to suggest, under the guise of health risks, that aborting a child because the mother is mentally disabled supersedes both the legal guardians’ and mother’s wishes.

We urge the residents of Washoe County, Nevada-and the nation-to protest this attempt by the government to impose the basest form of secularism on private citizens, contrary to common sense, our Constitution, and our traditions.

While we pray for the preborn child, this young woman, and her parents, we also pray for this judge.

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For more background on the case read:
Mentally Disabled Woman’s Caregiver Wants Forced Abortion
Court May Force Mentally Disabled Nevada Woman to Have Abortion