A Florida court ruled Monday that a pregnant, parentless teenager was not “mature” enough to decide terminating her pregnancy on her own.
The three-judge panel in Florida’s First District Court of Appeal sided with a previous ruling Aug. 10 by Circuit Judge Jennifer Frydrychowicz affirming the 16-year-old was not “sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” NBC News reported. The teen was 10 weeks pregnant at the time, according to the outlet.
The ruling, made by Judges Harvey Jay, Rachel Nordby, and Scott Makar, states the teen “had not established by clear and convincing evidence that she was sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” according to NBC News.
A pregnant and parentless 16-year-old in Florida may be forced to give birth after an appeals court ruled she was not “sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy.” https://t.co/fJyRB2SJXX
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 17, 2022
Makar dissented from the other judges in part, saying that the appeals court should send the teenager’s case back to judge Frydrychowicz for further consideration, according to the ruling.
“The trial judge apparently sees this matter as a very close call, finding that the minor … was ‘credible,’ ‘open’ with the judge, and nonevasive,” Makar wrote in his opinion. “The trial judge must have been contemplating that the minor — who was 10 weeks pregnant at the time — would potentially be returning before long — given the statutory time constraints at play — to shore up any lingering doubt the trial court harbored.” (RELATED: MSNBC Guest Wants To ‘Make Sweet Love’ And ‘Joyfully Abort’ Baby With SCOTUS Leaker)
The teenager is parentless and lives with a relative, despite having an appointed guardian who also supported the teen’s choice, NBC reported. Florida law requires that all underage women receive consent from a parent or guardian to go through with an abortion, the outlet noted.