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Texas Law Pays for Secret Abortions on Teenage Girls

by Sarah Crawford | Austin, TX | LifeNews.com | 1/11/13 11:43 AM

State

Current Texas law calls for Texas taxpayers to fund secret abortions for pregnant minors.  A loophole in the state’s parental consent laws allows judges to authorize pregnant minors to undergo an abortion without parental involvement or permission.  This loophole fosters abuse of the legal process established to protect minors and strengthen Texas families.

Texas law requires abortion providers to obtain formal consent from and send notice to at least one parent of a minor girl before providing an abortion to her.  If a girl does not want to involve her parents in the abortion, or even reveal the pregnancy to them, most abortion clinics will furnish the minor a list of attorneys who volunteer to help the vulnerable teen navigate the court system.  These attorneys are skilled at judge-shopping and serve as artful emissaries for the abortion industry.

Section 33.003 of the Texas Family Code states:

A pregnant minor who wishes to have an abortion without notification to one of her parents…may file an application for a court order authorizing the minor to consent to the performance of an abortion without notification to either of her parents. 

While the exception was intended to protect minors from abuse, particularly when the parent or guardian may be the perpetrator, the judicial bypass provision of the Parental Consent Law is exploited by the abortion industry to rush vulnerable young girls through the abortion process.

The identity and anonymity of the minor is always protected, but the taxpayers are not.  This entire court proceeding and any subsequent appeals are funded by taxpayers in Texas.  The judicial bypass proceeding is the only court proceeding for which no data is recorded or kept.  So while Texas taxpayers pay for ‘volunteer’ attorney ad litems for the girls as well as the court fees, we are kept in the dark about frequency of petitions, outcomes, costs, and appeals.

The abortion clinic’s lawyer accompanies the minor to the court, scripts the minor on how to answer the questions that the judge might ask, and then speaks on behalf of the minor to persuade the judge that a secret abortion is in the best interest of the minor.  The minor is coached on how to demonstrate that she is mature enough to make the decision to abort or coaxed into feigning that her well-being will be threatened if she informs her parents of her pregnancy.  The judge can then approve, ignore, or deny the minor’s request to undergo an abortion without her parents’ knowledge.

If the judge approves the petition, the abortion may be committed on the minor within 48 hours of the court hearing.  Shockingly though, even if the judge delays or does not act on the petition, the law greenlights the abortion, meaning that with no action from the judge, the minor and her legal representative may assume the request for the secret abortion was granted after 48 hours.

Furthermore, because the proceedings are confidential, Child Protective Services cannot– and will not – be called if the girl reports physical or emotional abuse to the judge.  The judge will only contact the police if the girl says her pregnancy is the result of sexual assault.  Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion chain, refers girls to organizations like Jane’s Due Process, which was established solely to recruit free legal representation for pregnant girls.  The attorneys with Jane’s Due Process steer the minors to the supportive, pro-abortion judges who will grant the bypass.  Jane’s Due Process arranges for the lawyer, who identifies the sympathetic judge, who represents the minor in court, and who is reimbursed for legal fees by Texas taxpayers.  On top of this, the taxpayers also pay the court fees incurred by this petition proceeding for a secret abortion.

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So, in fact, rather than helping girls escape abuse and sexual predators, the process worsens an already abusive situation by concealing the evidence of sexual or physical abuse.

Contrary to protecting minors and strengthening families, the judicial bypass loophole forces pregnant minors back into the arms of their abusers by aborting the pregnancy, which conceals the sex crimes.  And all this occurs in our courts and on the backs of taxpayers.

LifeNews.com Note: Sarah Crawford writes for Texas Right to Life.