During a press conference this week, two Alabama lawyers slammed a court’s ruling allowing a 12-year-old girl who was raped to terminate her pregnancy.
Attorneys Win Johnson and Lorie Mullins said the girl is not mature enough for the “life or death” decision. Johnson expressed disbelief that the court would think the teen was mature enough “to decide to murder her own child in her womb.”
“Now, nobody has said that to her, I bet you, in any of her counseling,” Johnson said according to AL.com. “Nobody has explained that to her in its starkest, rawest form, like that. But what if it was, what if she really thought through it, even as a 12-year-old and said, ‘Gosh, I don’t want that on my conscience.'”
The girl sought a waver from a law that requires parental consent for minors who want an abortion. After a district attorney objected to the waver, a family court judge approved it.
The girl was impregnated by an adult relative who raped her repeatedly, the appeals court opinion says. The child and her siblings were placed in the custody of the Department of Human Resources because of allegations that the girl’s mother was physically abusive, the opinion says.
“They have now put this decision, this responsibility, in her hands,” Mullins said. “This is a 12-year-old child who now has the responsibility of life and death and no matter how you feel about abortion, that’s what it is, it’s a decision about life or death.”
“She has been victimized her entire life,” she continued. “And now she’s being put in the position of being the perpetrator of this newest violence, because that’s what’s going to happen. Whether she grasps it now, there’s a point in her life where she is going to understand what she has done and how it is going to impact. The depression, the substance abuse that happens so often, the problems with future relationships.”
“I don’t know what the perfect answer is, but I know this is not it. If I could actually speak to this child, the only thing I could say to her is you’ve been robbed of your childhood. Don’t rob yourself of your future.”
Watch the press conference below:
Featured image via screen grab