Court Will Hear Emergency Appeal to Stop Potential Forced Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 3, 2012   |   10:59AM   |   Reno, NV

The Nevada Supreme Court has been asked by an attorney for the guardians of a pregnant mentally disabled woman not to force her to have an abortion.

The attorney and local pro-life advocates are 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.

The state Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in the matter on Monday or Tuesday.

“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.]”

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?



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