Sunday, May 01, 2005

From the Barricades

Did you know that you are a survivor of the abortion holocaust? This is the language of some pro-lifers. Imagine us as embryos: darting about, fleeing the evil abortionist or whatever, somehow miraculously surviving to the point after which pro-lifers no longer care about us: the birth. Pro-lifers seem to view women as aquaria: some empty, but with water that must be kept clear for future fishes, some with fish already in them and some all dry and dusty, no longer useful at all.

A thirteen-year old in state custody in Florida is one of those aquaria with fish. She is more than thirteen weeks pregnant. She got pregnant after running away from the state home. The girl herself wants an abortion and her state-appointed custodian was helping her to get one until higher powers-that-be decided to intervene. The pro-life plot is to keep the case in court until abortion is too late.

Giving birth is considerably more dangerous for a girl of this age than getting an abortion, but the case isn't about her, of course; it's about the rights of the fetus. Even though this can be clothed as a desire to properly punish the girl and whoever she had sex with:

A spokesman for Florida Right to Life said: 'There is a rush to abort. To get rid of the evidence. Who impregnated her? You do not consent to sex at the age of 13.'

The argument that this girl is too immature to make a decision about abortion is an odd one. She is supposedly mature enough to give birth and possibly to mother a child. And in court she sounded pretty mature to me:

"Why can't I make my own decision?"

That was the blunt question to a judge from a pregnant 13-year-old girl ensnared in a Palm Beach County court fight over whether she can have an abortion.

"I don't know," Circuit Judge Ronald Alvarez replied, according to a recording of the closed hearing obtained Friday.

"You don't know?" replied the girl, who is a ward of the state. "Aren't you the judge?"


L.G., who told Alvarez she had run away at least five times from her youth shelter, maintained, "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," the girl said as Alvarez and her guardian ad litem, assigned to shepherd her in the legal system, questioned her.

L.G. laid out different reasons for wanting an abortion.

"DCF would take the baby anyway," she said, but later added: "If I do have it, I'm not going to let them take it."

She also questioned the health risk of carrying the fetus to term.

"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?" she asked. Alvarez called that "a good point."

Writing about this case makes me feel nauseous. This thirteen-year old child should be protected, should be allowed to have a childhood, should never have been in a situation where she got pregnant in the first place. We didn't care enough about her until she got pregnant. Then some of us care an enormous amount about her uterus but not at all about the rest of her.
Second link originally from Feministing.