Nebraska Teen Mature Enough for Motherhood But Not an Abortion
October 28, 2013
On Friday, October 4th, the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld a ruling that rejected a 16-year-old girl’s request to get an abortion without her parents’ permission. According to Nebraska state law, teens age 17 or younger cannot get an abortion without written, notarized consent from a parent or guardian. This teen is in foster care and did not want to involve her foster parents. She feared she would lose her place in her foster parents’ home, which she shares with her two siblings, and she feared that her foster parents would not grant the permission required under state law for an abortion. The court not only rejected her request, but stated that the denial was actually because they don’t believe she is mature enough to make her own decision about whether to have an abortion.
The entire situation is extremely frustrating, especially because the teen has openly stated that she would be financially incapable of supporting a child. By ignoring this, the court is essentially saying that while she’s too immature to have an abortion, she’s plenty mature enough for motherhood.
It’s mind-boggling to me that when a woman says she is not ready to be a mother, she is told that that is immature. It takes a lot of maturity for a teen to openly admit she’s not ready for a child, and even more to request that a judge give her permission to have an abortion without parental consent, all the while risking her foster family finding out. All that said, I wonder if the definition of “maturity” should be changed, as clearly my definition does not match up with that of the Nebraska Supreme Court.