Bitch Ph.D. on the Florida case in which the state believes it is in the best interest for a 13-year-old girl to be forced to carry her pregnancy to term even though she has explicitly stated every step of the way that she doesn’t want to:
The fact of the matter is, young girls do sometimes get pregnant. It happens. Abortion is legal, having children is legal. Butt the fuck out and let these girls decide what to do for themselves, and if you’re so goddamn concerned about it, offer to help. Advocate for providing financial support to single moms; advocate for young women’s right to continue their education, even if they have children; argue with people who cluck cluck about young mothers; don’t assume that every young woman you see with a little kid is a big sister or a nanny (and don’t assume that, if she’s the mama, that that’s an awful pity); if you know a young woman who has a kid, offer to babysit once in a while. If she decides that adoption is the way she wants to go, support her in that (and don’t pretend that it’s an easy decision, going through forty weeks of pregnancy, with everyone treating you like a social pariah, risking your health and changing your body, only to give up the child you’ve borne at the end of the process, possibly never to see it again).
And for god’s sake, if a thirteen-year old kid decides, “hey, I’m not up for all that,” don’t argue with her.
And quotes from the girl’s testimony in front of a judge, courtesy of Shakespeare’s Sister:
L.G.: Why can’t I make my own decision?
Judge Alvarez: I don’t know.
L.G.: You don’t know? Aren’t you the judge?
* * *
Department of Children and Family Services: The Department of Children and Families has the custodial responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the child.
L.G.: I think if I want to make the decision, it’s my business and I can do that. It would make no sense to have the baby. I don’t think I should have the baby because I’m 13, I’m in a shelter and I can’t get a job. DCF would take the baby anyway [but] if I do have it, I’m not going to let them take it.
* * *
L.G.: Since you guys are supposedly here for the best interest of me, then wouldn’t you all look at that fact that it’d be more dangerous for me to have the baby than to have an abortion?
Judge Alvarez: A good point.
OBGYN: At her age and at her stage of gestation … her risk of death from an abortion procedure is about 1 in 34,000. The risk of death in pregnancy is about 1 in 10,000.
* * *
Judge Alvarez (paraphrase): Who is the father?
L.G.: That’s not really necessary.
I want to give this girl a hug for being so damned brave.
Related Reading: Life: It’s the Period Before You’re Born and After You’re Vegetative
- Bad Advice by Jill June 2, 2006
- Selfish Motherhood by Jill July 10, 2006
- No one escapes the Baby Inquisition by zuzu September 28, 2007
- Do Your Duty: Make More Babies! by Jill February 15, 2007
- Our feminist foremothers didn’t fight for your right to enjoy your life. by Jill June 10, 2013