Parents Sue, Say Georgia Clinic Did Secret Abortion on Daughter Without Consent
by Steven Ertelt
December 9, 2008
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — Victory and Genevieve Patterson may have been able to help their daughter find an alternative to abortion, but they say the Northside Women’s Clinic never gave them the chance. They sued the abortion business saying it broke Georgia law by doing an abortion on their daughter without their knowledge or consent.
According to Georgia statutes, abortion practitioners are required to notify an underage girl’s parents of her desire for an abortion and obtain consent beforehand.
Notice must be given and consent obtained 24 hours before an abortion unless there is a medical emergency involved or a judicial waiver is obtained.
The complaint, filed in the Fulton County Superior Court, says their daughter Renee Wymer discovered her then-boyfriend got her pregnant in April 2007. The couple kept the pregnancy a secret and discussed moving to Maryland and getting married or putting the baby up for adoption.
When the boyfriend’s mother found out about the pregnancy, she urged Renee to get an abortion and told her son to search the Internet for an abortion center.
The Pattersons say the Northside Women’s Clinic put false information on its web site that misleads teenagers about the law. They contend Northside’s web site said "unmarried patients under the age of 18 are required by Georgia law to have a parental notification note on the day of surgery."
The boyfriend’s mother wrote the note and took Renee to Northside for the abortion.
In their lawsuit, Renee’s parents say the web site was misleading because the state law clearly requires a legal parent or guardian to accompany the minor for the abortion, not an unrelated adult.
They also point out that notification and consent from the parent or guardian must be obtained 24 hours in advance, not on the day of the abortion.
"It was clear that Renee was a minor, the note was not from her parents, the note was not dated and a note was not an acceptable substitute for notice under Georgia law," the complaint says.
The Pattersons also allege that Northside officials accepted Renee’s signature on the consent form even though "it was clear by her actions and demeanor that she did not want the abortion."
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and S. Fenn Little Jr. and Jonathan D. Crumly of Little & Crumly in Atlanta are representing the Pattersons in the lawsuit.
The case is Wymer et al. v. Northside Women’s Clinic et al., No. 2008-CV-159661. The suit was filed on November 6 in Georgia Super. Ct., Fulton County.
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