Washoe court debates possible forced abortion

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Updated: 11/01/2012 10:50 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Could a developmentally disabled woman be forced to have an abortion? At issue right now in the Washoe County District Court is if the pregnant woman's guardian’s wishes need to be respected or if the judge should and could step in to overrule them and possibly force an abortion.

The case Thursday had to be moved to a bigger courtroom after so many people shuffled in - including the pregnant 32-year-old who we're not identifying at the request of the judge.

“This case is really a life and death case,” attorney Jason Guinasso said.

Guinasso represents the woman's adopted parents and legal guardians who want to follow their religious beliefs to carry the child to term. But the attorney says presiding judge Egan Walker told him it's the court's power and responsibility to decide if the baby's born since the mother has the mental capacity of about a 6 year old and it's not clear if the pregnancy was consensual or rape.

“We fundamentally disagree with the court on it's ability to even conduct these proceedings. The guardians would like what they already have the right to do and that is make a decision,” Guinasso said,

A News 4 check of court filings show there have been no demands yet for the pregnancy to be terminated, and the judge hasn't told us if that option is even on the table, but multiple medical experts testified today this is a high risk pregnancy since the woman has epilepsy, bipolar disorder and the baby runs the risk of birth defects from mom's medications and STDs.

The one thing everyone agrees on is a decision should be made soon because as controversy grows, so does the fetus.
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disbelief - 11/8/2012 6:14 PM
0 Votes
Sorry Elisa, I guess that the government can't tell you what to do with your body, unless you have a mental handicap. Then your rights are gone. Only people who are smart enough have rights, I guess.

heyhowareya - 11/2/2012 6:14 PM
0 Votes
There is more to this story than is being reported here. The young woman has been in a group home. She wonders away from said group home and the overseers at the group home cannot stop her-it is deemed as her right to have sexual relations if she wants to, and to restrain her from doing so would be illegal. If that isn't irony, I don't know what is. The parents have been discouraged from having the woman institutionalized by professionals (that costs more than community inclusion). There are already people wanting to adopt the baby once (s)he is born. Here is one of many links to a site that gives more info...https://www.facebook.com/SaveElisasBaby/info There are numerous other links that are all about the same case in question. Every link gives a little bit more info than what is being given here.

chocomom - 11/2/2012 6:12 PM
0 Votes
I have to question the supervisory skills of the guardians..If this young woman has the mental capacity of a 6 yr old as stated; how the heck did she even get pregnant? What guardians would not supervise a 6 yr old? Adult protective services should have stepped in at the news of her pregnancy and the guardians investigated. The also appear to be elderly guardians. I realize there are many grandparents who are raising their grandchildren these days, but are they capable of caring for a possible disabled baby? Their record speaks volumes on why SOMEONE else should make decisions for the mother. Opinions on abortion aside; someone needs to make the best decision for the mother/child, she is not capable and never will be...best scenario if abortion is not decided, find other adopted parents who are able to care a baby with the likely issues of disability.No one in THIS family should make that decision.

kdavis52 - 11/2/2012 1:52 PM
0 Votes
The pregnant woman may not know what is going on with herself but if that fetus is in the second tri-mester then it is too late to have an abortion. It should have been done the first signs of being sick in the mother. The first tri-mester. After that I don't care who you are, it is plain murder. The baby should be adopted to someone that can take care of it. I am not Christian either so there's no credit do there either. Now if there is something totally wrong with the fetus then that is another issue. Most times a baby born by a mentally challenged woman is usually healthy.

Gold Nugget - 11/2/2012 11:33 AM
1 Vote
Golly Molly I agree with you but need to add a question, Are the guardians able to raise this child? They apparently aren't even able to supervise the mother in this story. STD's? This sounds like a reoccuring issue.

Golly Molly - 11/2/2012 7:31 AM
0 Votes
Fragmented story that is not very informative to date. A history of STD's? Possible rape? No information about the father. Any DNA testing planned? Are the adopted parents and guardians willing to raise the child?

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