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.