A circuit court judge in Florida has ruled that a pregnant teenager in state custody can get an abortion over the state’s objections, a lawyer involved in the case said Monday night.
The lawyer, Howard Simon, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said the judge, Ronald Alvarez of Palm Beach County Circuit Court, ruled that the girl was competent to make decisions regarding her pregnancy and had the right to do so under the state’s Constitution.
Perhaps her assertiveness lent itself to his ruling.
The children’s agency has come under heavy criticism in recent years for losing track of those in its care. In a hearing last week, Judge Alvarez said he was angry that the state had not done more to prevent L. G.’s pregnancy in the first place.
“Where are our priorities in life?” he said, according to The Associated Press.
Karen Gievers, a lawyer in Tallahassee who has sued the state on behalf of foster children, questioned why the state had not found an adoptive home for L. G. and why it would spend resources fighting her abortion when it had so many urgent priorities.
Good question. The state of Indiana has laws in place so that all children are to have potentially permanent placement within a year’s time, or at least an overall plan for the child in custody to be executed in an efficient and deliberate manner. The intent of this year-long goal is to prevent kids from getting lost in the system, remaining unti lthey are eighteen and dumped by the state. It seems this girl had been lost in the system. Though an adoptive home may not be a reality they should have been able to find her a foster home by now, not the state home that she currently lives in.
Nonetheless, I’m happy the judge made a reasonable decision best for all parties involved. Considering the specifics of this case, I don’t see much light in any other option available to her.
Best of luck to L.G.
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