Abortion Bypass Denied by Colorado Court

Tyler LePard

The first young woman in Colorado to be denied access to an abortion via judicial bypass is told she's too immature to have an abortion, she's unemployed and she doesn't understand the risks.

Colorado Confidential breaks the news that a teenager has been denied a judicial bypass to access an abortion:

Colorado requires either parental notice, or a court order (called a judicial bypass) for a minor to obtain an abortion. The Colorado Court of Appeals, in an expedited appeal, affirmed a trial courts' order denying a minor a judicial bypass, in a ruling issued today. The case appears to be the first of its kind in Colorado at the appellate level and relied heavily on persuasive authority from other states with similar laws.

Andrew Oh-Willeke reports that this is the first appeal of a parental notification ruling, despite the parental notification law existing for several years now (since 2003).

The pregnant minor's burden of proof was to either show by clear and convincing evidence that she was mature enough to make the decision, or by a preponderance of the evidence that notification was not in her best interests.

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After the hearing the judge found that "she lacked the maturity to decide whether to have an abortion." The court emphasized her "unwillingness to communicate with her mother or consult with other adults, her focus on her own needs, and her failure to discuss the matter with a doctor." The trial court also felt that she had "only minimal understanding of the risks of the abortion procedure" and that she was "unemployed and being supported by her mother."

As one commenter notes, the teenager's lacks of maturity only applies in the court's mind when it comes to making the decision about abortion, but does not apply to deciding to raise a child. It seems the judge has "only minimal understanding" of the risks of childbirth compared to the risks of an abortion procedure.

Read the details at Colorado Confidential.

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