A judge gave a 12-year-old Queensland, Australia girl permission to abort her unborn baby this month, claiming that giving birth would have caused her harm.
SBS TV reports the unnamed 12-year-old girl, referred to as “Q”, has been experiencing emotional stress ever since she learned that she was pregnant. She reportedly ran away from home, cut herself and attempted suicide, according to documents from the Queensland Supreme Court.
The girl was nine weeks pregnant at the time of the court ruling. She began trying to get an abortion about a month earlier, but the hospital where she sought the abortion requested the court’s permission before proceeding, the report states. Abortion is illegal in Queensland except in cases where a woman’s physical or mental health is in serious danger.
In a decision published this week, Queensland Supreme Court Justice Duncan McMeekin ruled the 12-year-old girl’s situation fit within the law. He ordered that she be given a chemical abortion by April 23, according to the report.
“It is clearly in Q’s best interests for termination of her pregnancy to proceed,” McMeekin said in his decision. “It is necessary to do so in order to avoid danger to her mental and physical health.”
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“She has no wish to be a mother. Unsurprisingly, she feels that she is not fitted to the task,’’ McMeekin continued, The Australian reports. “While termination of the pregnancy carries some risks, those risks are far outweighed by the alternative.”
Unfortunately, reports indicate the unborn baby’s father does not know that he has an unborn child. He reportedly is about the same age as the girl.
Abortion activists are celebrating McMeekin’s ruling. The Guardian reports the case also prompted a pro-abortion Queensland MP to introduce a bill to overturn the state’s pro-life law and legalize abortion. MP Rob Pyne said it was “cruel and unusual” that the 12 year old had to receive permission from a court to have an abortion.
The Courier Mail reports more about the case:
The parents and a psychiatrist believed there was a real risk of her self-harming or having suicidal thoughts if her pregnancy continued.
Various medical specialists and counsellors who had dealt with the girl and the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services all supported the termination.
“While termination of the pregnancy carries some risks, those risks are far outweighed by the alternative,’’ Justice McMeekin said.
He said the potential mental health problems of not terminating were “significant and possibly lifelong’’.
A psychiatrist who spoke to the girl said she had little or no idea of the process of pregnancy and no idea of the emotional and physical demands of rearing a child.
However, the state court decision appears to contradict itself. McMeekin said the 12 year old was mature enough to decide to have an abortion but at the same time not mature enough to give birth to a child. The girl could have chosen adoption if she did not feel ready to parent, but that option is not mentioned in the reports.
It also is uncertain whether the girl received all the facts about abortion, its potential effects on her physical and mental health and the facts about her unborn baby’s life. Aborting an unborn child does not resolve psychological distress for many women. A number of studies have found the opposite to be true.
The young girl’s mother also appeared to be pushing for the abortion. The Guardian reports the girl’s mother said she was not in a position to assist with bringing up a child. It is troublesome given studies that show at least half of women report being pressured to have an abortion.