A 16-year-old in foster care is too young to make the decision to have an abortion, according to the Nebraska Supreme Court.
The justices upheld a lower court ruling citing Nebraska’s parental consent. The law says minors must have at least one parent’s signature before an abortion. There are exceptions if she can prove her parents are abusive or that she is “sufficiently mature and well-informed” about the risks.
In this case, the girl, known only as Anonymous 5, argued that she did not want to tell her foster parents she was pregnant, because they oppose abortion. She said she feared what they would tell her siblings about her decision.
In the initial court decision, Judge Peter Bataillon rejected her petition. He wrote, “just because her foster parents have strongly held religious beliefs, does not mean that they will not act in the Petitioner’s best interest.” The girl’s birth parents had their rights terminated, and there was no evidence that they or the foster parents had ever been abusive.
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