Las Vegas Sun

April 26, 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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  1. It's completely unethical for this judge to play God with the life of a child. Leave it to the woman and her family to decide if the child should be born and who is raising.

    Judges get to decide abortions now. The US really is going to hell in a handbasket.

  2. US courts have the right to sterilize and abort fetuses "for the protection and health of the state". Buck v. Bell 1927 is a good point to begin research.

  3. If you're pro-choice wouldn't this offend you? It's no longer your choice apparently.

  4. @ torklugnutz - Only a man would try to take a decision made in 1927 before the human Gnome was fully understood and try to adhere it to mental competency and genetics as we know it today, to justify controlling someone else's reproductive rights.

    This woman has a choice. She's a person.

    If a better line isn't drawn, then the government could start saying they're going to sterilize people of X population - perhaps one that you are part of.

  5. Welcome to conservative America.

  6. The law says you must jump! Jump you tool jump!

    Only a fool adheres.

    The Right has been advocating for "freedom" and "life" all while encouraging Gov't to breach the freedom of Americans "for the sake of security." Advocating for "life" all while encouraging Gov't to exercise its right to execute people.

    It isn't "life" that the Right protects - it is their right to pick and choose - CHOICE!

  7. This is a dicey issue. I'm pro-choice, and find the circumstances surrounding this woman to be questionable at best.

    I don't like the idea of a judge deciding for her. But I also get the impression that her parents/guardians are also trying to decide for her.

    The question of whether or not this woman is capable of making such a decision for herself is also in play. That said, my thought is that she should receive objective information and advice and then should be allowed to make her own decision without undue pressure from social workers OR her guardians.

    To the extent that the court can ensure she receives objective information I think it should do so, but going beyond that is going much too far.

  8. Why does the article not explain the MEDICAL NECESSITY of an abortion? The woman seems unable to make an informed decision. And, her parents seem unconcerned for her well-being. Further, the parents do NOT have custody since she is living in a group home.

  9. We support any and every judge that is willing to make unpopular decisions that need to be made. And, it sounds like we need to restrict adoptions of children not born here. Remember the mom who shipped her Soviet son back? As Native Nevadan said, we've been paying for this adoption for years--probably $50,000 or more every year since she was 12. Now we're supposed to pay for her probably-severely-handicapped child? Multiplying the wrongs, morally, ethically AND financially doesn't help anyone. What kind of a life would the child have? Probably never even developing into consciousness.