Abortion Bypass Denied by Colorado Court

Colorado Confidential breaks the news that a teenager has been denied a judicial bypass to access an abortion:

Colorado requires either parental notice, or a court order (called a judicial bypass) for a minor to obtain an abortion. The Colorado Court of Appeals, in an expedited appeal, affirmed a trial courts' order denying a minor a judicial bypass, in a ruling issued today. The case appears to be the first of its kind in Colorado at the appellate level and relied heavily on persuasive authority from other states with similar laws.

Andrew Oh-Willeke reports that this is the first appeal of a parental notification ruling, despite the parental notification law existing for several years now (since 2003).

The pregnant minor's burden of proof was to either show by clear and convincing evidence that she was mature enough to make the decision, or by a preponderance of the evidence that notification was not in her best interests.

After the hearing the judge found that "she lacked the maturity to decide whether to have an abortion." The court emphasized her "unwillingness to communicate with her mother or consult with other adults, her focus on her own needs, and her failure to discuss the matter with a doctor." The trial court also felt that she had "only minimal understanding of the risks of the abortion procedure" and that she was "unemployed and being supported by her mother."

As one commenter notes, the teenager's lacks of maturity only applies in the court's mind when it comes to making the decision about abortion, but does not apply to deciding to raise a child. It seems the judge has "only minimal understanding" of the risks of childbirth compared to the risks of an abortion procedure.

Read the details at Colorado Confidential.

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  • invalid-0

    And conservatives whine about activist judges. Looks like the reasons given merely define the young woman as a teenager — which she is! Horrible.

  • invalid-0

    I find it particularly alarming that the judge found “her focus on her own needs” to be a strike against her.

    If this judge thinks that the needs of the 13-week fetus or the parent are more important than the needs of the woman who will bear the risks and responsibilities of the pregnancy, we have even farther to go than I thought we did.

  • invalid-0

    ***Abortion is a horrible awful thing, but sadly it is sometimes the lesser of two evils***

    If one’s not mature enough to make the decision on whether or not she can have an abortion, why isn’t it obvious that she’s then not mature enough to have the kid. Even if she were able to give it up for adoption, how many times have we had it drilled into our heads how important the early stages of pregnancy are for the mother to be in good shape. How can someone too immature to make a pretty serious decision that NOBODY, except for someone extremely disturbed who shouldn’t be reproducing anyway, can take lightly, be capable of carrying this baby to term in a healthy manner?

    And for her to not be able to tell her parents, it must either be something pretty serious, or else a major sign that she’s not mentally ready to carry a child. Research points to the fall in crime during the Clinton years to be due to the passing of R-vs-“dubya”. Women who aren’t capable of raising a child under whatever conditions they have available to them, were often aware of it and had abortions instead of breeding babies with a direct path to a life of crime.

    Since the courts are not aware of the needs for childrearing, I guess they don’t aren’t mature enough to make the decision they did themselves. It’s scary that they’re appointed to anything!

    I read this article because I live in Colorado. I’m disappointed it’s my state but glad I’m in power to not only vote this judge out, but to spread this story of the court’s incompetency to everyone I can so that they can too.

  • invalid-0

    I looked at this article and again saw that the burden of proof was applied to a young teenage girl—questioning her choices and who she is while passing over that of others involved. It all falls to her, except in the end when ultimately again it falls upon the decision of a court regarding a woman’s own body. Do we make such decisions about the bodies of men? Would they even stand for it?