Tuesday, May 3, 2005

"We are working for the best interest of the young girl," [State Department of Children & Families spokeswoman Marilyn] Munoz said.

In case you're not aware what young girl she's talking about, this is in reference to a 13 year-old girl in a foster home in Florida who is 14 weeks pregnant and wishes to have it aborted for several reasons.

The state, of course, didn't want her to:

About two weeks ago, records show, L.G. [this is the only name we have for her] learned she was pregnant. After obtaining counseling, she asked her foster care caseworkers to arrange for her to have an abortion. But before the procedure could be performed on April 26, DCF [Department of Children and Families] lawyers asked [Palm Beach Circuit Judge Ronald] Alvarez to block the abortion.

In court papers, DCF officials said L.G. is too young and immature to make a well-reasoned decision about her pregnancy.

Too immature? Let's see:

"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?"

By the way, Florida "[s]tate law allows minors to have abortions without notifying their guardians. Experts say the law extends to wards of the state, raising the question of why this girl's decision has ended up before a judge."

If you followed the links earlier, you should already know that Judge Alvarez has found her perfectly competent and should be allowed to have the abortion, of course. I'm not terribly concerned with the outcome; I trust the judiciary will allow her to have the abortion. What gets to me is the quote that heads this entry: "We are working for the best interest of the young girl."

They are doing this by trying to force a thirteen year old girl to give birth to a child she cannot care for.

They have her "best interests" at heart when they try to make her give birth, though for her that's about three times more likely to kill her than getting an abortion.

They have the nothing but interest in her now that she wants to terminate a pregnancy, though when she was missing for a month nobody seemed to care:

The judge blasted the DCF, saying the agency never asked the court to issue an order to take the child into custody after her most recent disappearance.

"To say that I am angry at that would be an understatement," Alvarez said. "To rush into this court on an emergency basis because this child is pregnant and wants an abortion, I don't know where our priorities in life are. The priority should have been to make certain that an order to take her into custody was issued as soon as possible, and that she was found and taken off of the streets or wherever she was. But nobody cared."

(Munoz disputes this, but won't say exactly who DCF contacted)

And I'd point out this is only "her most recent disappearance"--she's run away several times now. Has Munoz been interested in finding out why? Or trying to prevent it? Somehow I doubt it.

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