Florida's First District Court of Appeals ruled this week that a pregnant 16-year-old cannot get an abortion because she is not "sufficiently mature" enough to end her pregnancy.
The 16-year-old, "Jane Doe," was appealing a ruling from Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Frydrychowicz on Aug. 10. The three-judge appeals court sided with Frydrychowicz.
"Jane Doe" sought to bypass Florida's parental consent law for women 18 and younger seeking an abortion in the state. She argued that she is unable to have the child for several reasons.
"The minor states that she is sufficiently mature to make the decision, saying she 'is not ready to have a baby,' she doesn't have a job, she is 'still in school,' and the father is unable to assist her," the appeals court's ruling stated. It noted that "Jane Doe" is "parentless" and is living with a legal guardian. She is pursuing a GED in a program designed to "assist young women who have experienced trauma in their lives by providing educational support and counseling."
The court pointed out that the teen's guardian is okay with her obtaining an abortion and that she experienced "renewed trauma," the death of one of her friends, shortly before deciding to get an abortion.
"Appellant, a minor, wishes to terminate her pregnancy. She appeals the trial court's dismissal of her petition seeking judicial waiver of the parental/legal guardian notice and consent provisions under section 390.01114, Florida Statutes. The trial court found, based on the nonadversarial presentation below, that Appellant had not established by clear and convincing evidence that she was sufficiently mature to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy," the decision read.
The ruling stated that a court "'may re-evaluate its decision' in a renewed hearing for the minor to 'adequately articulate her request'" for an abortion.
"Reading between the lines, it appears that the trial court wanted to give the minor, who was under extra stress due to a friend's death, additional time to express a keener understanding of the consequences of terminating a pregnancy. This makes some sense given that the minor, at least at one point, says she was open to having a child, but later changed her view after considering her inability to care for a child in her current station in life," Judge Scott Makar wrote in the ruling.
Earlier this year, Townhall reported how a Florida teenager won an appeal to obtain an abortion without parental consent. The teen, whose name was not revealed, knew her parents would not consent to her getting an abortion and she petitioned for a judicial bypass to access information regarding a medication abortion pill and the ability to have the pill administered if she chooses to do so.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the Biden administration unveiled a website, ReproductiveRights.gov, directing girls, even those 15 and younger, to resources to get an abortion and bypass parental consent.