It’s difficult to believe a 12-year-old victim of abuse could fully understand the ramifications of abortion, but that is what an Alabama court ruled this week.
The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals ruling involves the tragic case of a 12-year-old girl who became pregnant as a result of sexual abuse by a family member, according to The Daily Dot. The young victim, who is not named in reports, also said her mother began physically abusing her when she found out her daughter was pregnant.
The young girl now is in the custody of the state Department of Human Resources. Her caseworker said the girl repeatedly asked for an abortion.
Like most states, Alabama requires that a parent consent or be notified before their minor daughter has an abortion. However, states allow minors to wave the requirement in cases of abuse, and that is what the girl’s case worker did earlier this summer.
Here’s more from the report:
The court granted the waiver at first, but a district attorney appealed it later that day, believing that the victim was “too immature to make an informed decision and that there is no evidence that the abortion would be in the minor’s best interest.”
But the appeals court ultimately found the juvenile court’s decision valid, pointing out that the victim has the maturity required to understand abortion’s impact. “In this case, the minor is in the custody of DHR based on reports of physical abuse at the hands of her mother,” the court said. “The minor consistently stated that she wanted an abortion, that she was too young to care for a child, that she was scared, and that she did not want to have a child.”
There’s no question that the girl’s parents should not be involved in making decisions for her, but the court also has failed to protect the girl and her unborn baby from an abortion.
It is difficult to believe that any 12-year-old girl is mature enough to understand that an abortion is a permanent, life-ending decision. The procedure would kill her unborn baby and potentially injure her physically or emotionally for the rest of her life.
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There is no easy answer to such a tragic situation, but the young girl’s baby’s life would be spared if she chose adoption or parenting instead. Neither are easy options, but they at least would give the baby life and keep the young girl from the pain and regret of abortion.
In 2015, an Irish woman who faced a similar situation told radio host Stephen Nolan that she wishes she “could turn the clock back” and spare her child from abortion. The woman said she was raped at age 13 and also had an abortion.
“Fast forward 37 years and I’ve realised I’m suffering from post-abortion trauma, and because I was never able to forget about the abortion, about the son that I’d lost. … it wasn’t the rape itself – it was the abortion that caused the trauma,” the woman said.
“I’d like to say to women today that they should think twice, there is life after rape,” she continued. “I could have loved my son, I know that now. Even though he was conceived through rape I could have loved him.”
An Elliot Institute study found that women who were victims of rape said the abortion felt like another “medical rape” and did not help them heal. In many cases, it only added to their pain and trauma.
Edith, a 12-year-old victim of incest impregnated by her stepfather, wrote 25 years after the abortion of her unborn child:
Throughout the years I have been depressed, suicidal, furious, outraged, lonely, and have felt a sense of loss . . . The abortion which was to “be in my best interest” just has not been. As far as I can tell, it only ‘saved their reputations,’ ‘solved their problems,’ and ‘allowed their lives to go merrily on.’ . . . My daughter, how I miss her so. I miss her regardless of the reason for her conception.”