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What’s a seventeen year-old to do? They can’t drink, they can’t smoke, they can’t stay out late, but at least they can get an abortion without their parents being notified. Such is the state of our completely out-of-whack judicial system that continues to make rulings that apparently exist in a vacuum, with no legal precedent or rationale.
The most recent ruling comes courtesy of the Sunshine State. A new law came into effect on June 30 of this year requiring Florida doctors to notify the parents of girls under the age of 18 who request an abortion. Since this is a little too black and white for the government, they also instituted a “waiver” so that girls who did not want their parents to be notified had a chance to tell their particular unique and sad story as to why their parents should not be privy to such information. One such girl, who had her waiver denied by Polk County Circuit Judge Ellen Masters, decided to appeal. The Appeals Court ruled in her favor and could set the precedent which would permit any girl under 18 to get an abortion without parental notification.
What is troubling about this case is the complete lack of regard for the law by the Appeals Court. Understandably, each case is not without its unique and difficult situations and scenarios, but the best one that could be found in this one was that the girl’s parents are Catholic and would “adamantly oppose her decision to have an abortion and might kick her out of their house.” The Appeals Court ruled that this girl has the maturity to decide if an abortion would be the best course of action without involving her parents. This same girl who, according to federal law, doesn’t possess enough maturity to buy a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of beer, or, according to Florida law, doesn’t possess the maturity to be out driving after 1 AM without an adult in the front seat, or, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, cannot be executed for a capital crime, this same girl has somehow, magically become mature enough to make the decision to kill another human being that has had the misfortune of becoming lodged in her womb. The girl, presumably, knew of her parents’ Catholic beliefs before she became pregnant, but it didn’t stop her from engaging in the activity that leads to pregnancy. Now, however, she has gained wisdom and maturity from her parents’ Catholic beliefs and will thank them by killing their first grandchild.
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What kind of sick and twisted logic allows judges to rule this way? The Appeals Court is a three-judge court, so at least two of them were in agreement in this judicial atrocity. The Appeals Court ruled that she was “mature,” but this wasn’t even the issue in the Circuit Court. Judge Masters ruled that she simply didn’t meet the criteria for a waiver. For the overruling to be made on the basis of “maturity,” it completely ignores this basic legal fact. If she had wanted plastic surgery instead of an abortion, nobody would even question the need for parental notification. But abortion has become such a sacred cow, that liberals don’t even hide the fact that this is their one and only issue. The Harriet Miers debacle (and now the debate raging around Samuel Alito) revealed this quite clearly. In fact, the New York Times editorial staff was even so bold as to print that only two issues really matter when confirming a Supreme Court judge: what is their view on abortion, and what is their view of a strict constructionist understanding of the Constitution. In reality, both are asking the same thing, i.e. do you believe that the U.S. Constitution is a “living document” and should be pounded and stretched to conform to our current agenda or “evolved standard of decency?” Apparently, the judges on the Appeals Court in Florida are trying to make their bids for the Supreme Court now. They would probably be confirmed immediately with this ruling in their collective histories.