Court Says Florida Teen 'Not Mature Enough' for Abortion

Parentless 16-year-old sought to bypass law requiring written consent
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2022 6:14 PM CDT
Court Says Florida Teen 'Not Mature Enough' for Abortion
People protest the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade near Old School Square on Friday, June 24, 2022 in Delray Beach, Fla.   (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

(Newser) – A 16-year-old girl in Florida has to become a mother because she's not "mature" enough to decide whether to have an abortion, according to an appeals court in Florida. A three-judge panel of the state's 1st District Court of Appeal upheld a ruling that blocked "Jane Doe 22-B" from having an abortion without the consent of a parent or guardian, NBC reports. The court said it supported Circuit Judge Jennifer Frydrychowicz's ruling that the girl hadn't shown that "she was sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy."

Under Florida law, a minor seeking an abortion without written consent from a parent or guardian can apply for a judicial waiver, Axios reports. A dissent to the ruling from one of the three judges, Judge Scott Makar, notes that the girl is almost 17 years and parentless. It states than in her application for a waiver under the statute requiring parental consent for an abortion, she said "she 'is not ready to have a baby,' she doesn’t have a job, she is 'still in school, and the father is unable to assist her." The girl, who lives with a relative but has a legal guardian, said her "guardian is fine with what [she] wants to do," according to court papers.

The girl was 10 weeks pregnant at the time of the lower court's ruling. Makar argued that the case should be sent back to the lower court for further consideration from Frydrychowicz, who had apparently been worried that the death of a friend had affected the girl's judgment. "Based on the hearing transcript and her written order, the trial judge apparently sees this matter as a very close call, finding that the minor was 'credible,' 'open' with the judge, and nonevasive," he wrote. "Indeed, the minor 'showed, at times, that she is stable and mature enough to make this decision.'" (Read more abortion stories.)

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