In a bizarre case that can only be described as "can this possibly be happening in the United States of America," Nevada District Court Judge Egan Walker is presiding over hearings to determine if a 32-year-old mentally disabled woman should be permitted to carry her pregnancy to term or whether it is in her "best interests" to be forced to have an abortion against the will of her parents who are her guardians.
Bill and Amy Bauer of Fernley, Nevada, as judge Egan Walker eloquently notes, adopted and rescued six children from the streets of Costa Rica over 20 years ago, all of whom have fetal alcohol syndrome.
One of their children is a 32 year old woman who is mentally handicapped and has the mental capacity and social skills of a 6 or 7year-old. Since she was 18 years old, her parents have served as her guardians, something typical in cases like this. Now she is pregnant with a healthy 14 week old baby boy or girl as a result of some sort of elopement from the group home she has been living in. The family wants her to have the baby and then place the child for adoption. The Bauers have said that their disabled daughter wants to have the baby. She does not want to kill it and several couples have expressed a desire to adopt the unborn child. We also know that Judge Walker could intervene to force an abortion.
How does this happen in America where a judge can intervene in a way that could force an abortion of a mentally disabled woman against the wishes of her family who are her guardians? Where are the allegations of abuse? What have the Bauers done wrong? How can a court interject itself into family decisions like this where there is no evidence or even charges of abuse or incompetence on the part of the guardians who are her parents, to overrule their decisions and possibly decide for an abortion of their grandchild? How can other guardians and families be safe from state intrusion and the prospect of forced abortion?
It is true that the young woman has epilepsy and that she is taking medications for it that could possibly harm the unborn child. But epileptic women have babies all the time and doctors know how to care for them. Letters from epileptic mothers have expressed outrage at the notion that their condition makes it too dangerous for them to bear children.
The mother is healthy and so is her unborn child but the court appointed attorney has acted like she is prosecuting the unborn. Her arguments demonstrate the corrupt and corrosive nature of the abortion mentality. That is, if any risk, no matter how minute, can be shown to make abortion a fraction safer than child birth (a spurious proposition), then in this mind set, abortion is warranted. This says that innocent human beings are expendable if they pose even the slightest risk to us. We even heard her ask what the psychological-emotional damage and impact could be to the mother if, with the interaction of her drugs for epilepsy, she bore a disfigured, deformed child?
This is the ugly face of abortion on display. Abortion sends the clear, unmistakable and absolutely unconscionable and intolerable message that certain classes of human beings are expendable for the benefit of other people and that some people are just not acceptable in our society. It sends the equally clear message that baby humans are means to our ends.
What's next? There are two more hearings before a decision is made on November 27. The Bauer's attorney, Jason Guinasso--we believe Jason is also the attorney for the Bauer's unborn baby grandchild-is calling expert witnesses to show that abortion is not safe and that it is not in the interest of the Bauer's mentally disabled daughter. And when women face an 81 percent added risk for mental health problems as a result of an abortion, and when 10 percent of all mental health problems are related to abortion, and when abortion poses so many physical risks, it's not beneficial for other women either.
Judge Walker must rule out an abortion. To order an abortion would send a clear and unmistakable message that courts can intervene in family matters and order an abortion against the family's wishes. Bioethicist Wesley J. Smith warns, "If a court orders an abortion opposed by the parents/guardians of this woman, and the woman herself (who is not capable of informed consent)-absent clear and convincing evidence that the pregnancy poses a substantial risk to the woman's life... we will have entered territory once inhabited exclusively by China.