A Louisiana mother filed a lawsuit to save her unborn grandchild’s life earlier this month after her teenage daughter sought a judge’s permission to have an abortion without her consent.
Louisiana law requires underage girls to obtain a parent’s consent before having an abortion. However, because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the law includes a judicial bypass exception that allows girls to request permission from a judge instead.
The purpose of the exception is supposed to be for cases involving domestic abuse, but pro-life leaders say abortion activists exploit the loophole by finding activist judges to rubber stamp teens’ requests for abortion.
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That is what the Lafayette mother says happened with her daughter, NOLA reports.
According to the mother’s lawsuit, her 17-year-old daughter asked her for permission to have an abortion in February, and she refused. She said her daughter then found the Judicial Bypass Project, a pro-abortion group that helps underage girls get abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
The mother accused the pro-abortion group of encouraging her daughter “to apply for a judicial bypass in New Orleans, as judges there were ‘more lenient.’” She said New Orleans Juvenile Court Judge Tammy Stewart gave her daughter a judicial bypass “without any kind of meaningful evidentiary evaluation,” according to the local news report.
Her daughter aborted her baby at 18 weeks of pregnancy, but her uterus was perforated during the abortion, the lawsuit states.
Then, in September, the mother said her daughter told her that she was pregnant again and asked her permission to have another abortion; she refused and decided to file a lawsuit to challenge the judicial bypass law and save her grandchild’s life.
In the lawsuit, the mother accuses some state judges of basically rubber stamping teens’ requests for abortion without really considering what is best for them in “what amounts to a judicial bypass approval mill,” the report states.
On Wednesday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order at the mother’s request, meaning another judge cannot approve the daughter’s abortion, the report continues. Another hearing on the case is slated for next week.
Angie Thomas, J.D., associate director of Louisiana Right to Life, said parents should be involved in a life-altering decision such as an underage daughter’s abortion, and they support the mother’s case.
“Louisiana Right to Life strongly supports the mother’s efforts to stop judges from authorizing her minor daughter’s abortion against her consent,” Thomas said. “A ten-minute Zoom call is not adequate for a judge to wipe away the parent-child relationship, especially when the parent is ready and willing to help the minor to raise the baby.”
Thomas said one of the problems with the judicial bypass is that judges can determine that a minor is too immature to make a decision about an abortion but still grant her request based on the claim that it is in her “best interest.”
“The result of this system is that virtually any minor can go around their parents to get a judicially-approved abortion, especially when pro-abortion attorneys are coaching them through the process,” she said. “A judge with virtually no knowledge of the minor and her family should not be able to veto a parent and decide what is in the minor’s best interest.”
Parental consent and parental notification laws protect children from coercion and abuse and ensure adults are involved in making important, irreversible and life-threatening decisions about their child and grandchild.
Currently, 37 states currently require parental involvement (consent or notification) before a minor has an abortion. However, the Illinois Legislature voted this week to repeal its law. A 2011 Gallup poll found 71 percent of Americans favor laws requiring parents’ involvement in a minor’s abortion decision.