Opponents decry 12-year-old AL rape victim's abortion waiver
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Two opponents of a 12-year-old Alabama girl's decision to have an abortion after she was raped by a relative spoke out Wednesday during a news conference in Montgomery.
Win Johnson, former Legal Director for the Administrative Office of Courts under Chief Justice Roy Moore, and Lorie Mullins, Executive Director of COPE Pregnancy Center, who has counseled post-abortive women, spoke regarding the court's decision.
On Wednesday, the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals granted the unidentified child's petition to have an abortion without parental consent, a decision that bypasses Alabama's Parental Consent law.
"There are two victims of this decision by the Court of Civil Appeals," Johnson said. "The unborn child and the 12-year-old mother."
Johnson went on, "In essence, what the courts are saying to this young girl is this: 'We, the courts of Alabama, consider you mature enough to decide to murder your own unborn child.'"
The girl, whose name and home county have not been released, was impregnated by a relative who is now charged with statutory rape. Court documents indicate she and her siblings have been removed by DHR from her mother's home on five occasions. She was removed from the home most recently because her mother reacted violently. She does not know her father.
Mullins said she was making her statements based on her knowledge of dozens of post-abortive women.
"The child needs a voice, not an abortion," she stated. "She needs to be protected, not used as a pawn in the pro-abortion, pro-life arena," adding she believes the girl has been "robbed of your childhood," and cautioning her "don't rob yourself of your future."
The girl sought a waiver from the state law that requires minors to obtain a parent's permission but a district attorney objected. The girl's request was approved by a family court judge and then upheld by the appeals court.
Johnson called the decision to allow the abortion to move forward "a charade of judicial bypass".
Alabama law does allow for a waiver from parental-consent if the juvenile court finds "that the minor is mature and well-informed enough to make the abortion decision on her own" or that "the performance of the abortion would be in the best interest of the minor."
EDITOR'S NOTE: The last paragraph of this article has been updated to replace "and" with "or" in regards to the two conditions reviewed by a juvenile court. Also, it should be made clear that the U.S. Supreme Court requires that a waiver must be provided under either condition or the parental consent law would be deemed unconstitutional.
Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.