Las Vegas Sun

August 29, 2015

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Judge asserts right to decide on abortion for mentally disabled woman

CARSON CITY — A District Court judge says he has the authority to order an abortion for a 32-year-old mentally disabled woman, even against the will of her Catholic adoptive parents.

Washoe County District Court Judge Egan Walker asked the Nevada Supreme Court today to let him go forward with hearings to receive medical evidence to determine if Elizabeth E. Bauer should have an abortion. She was living at a group home when she became pregnant.

Doctors say Bauer’s life is at risk if the pregnancy is allowed to continue. Her guardians and parents, William and Amy Bauer, say the judge does not have the right to overrule them.

Elizabeth Bauer was adopted by her parents in 1992 from Costa Rica, and in 1998 the Bauers were named her guardians when it was determined she could not care for herself.

Her parents said they talked with Elizabeth, who indicated she wanted to give birth to the baby. But an independent investigation by the Washoe County Public Guardian’s Office concluded that Elizabeth Bauer was not sure if she wanted to continue the pregnancy.

Her parents filed suit with the Supreme Court to prevent Walker from holding further hearings.

Walker said it “would be illogical and contrary to law” to prevent him from gathering evidence to determine if an abortion should be performed.

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