Judges need to be aware of their rights when minors seek to bypass consent laws for abortion
Did you know that in Texas a young girl can easily obtain an abortion without parental consent or notification? “But we have a parental consent law!” you say. True, Texas does have a parental consent law on the books, but the huge loophole for circumventing the law renders parental consent virtually meaningless.
In Texas, a minor girl (any young mother under the age of 18) can procure an abortion without the consent of a parent by seeking a judicial bypass from a judge. Represented by an attorney, the young mother may have a judge sign off on her request for an abortion in lieu of one of her parents. Furthermore, a girl seeking a judicial bypass remains anonymous, and the law requires that Texas courts keep no record of these procedures, making it impossible to know how frequently this is happening, what judges are rubber-stamping these requests, and who received the bypass. The fact that the procedure is anonymous also means that attorneys can re-file requests for the same girl in different courts until being assigned to a favorable judge. Making this process confidential but not anonymous would allow courts to prevent this judge-hopping behavior (which cannot be done in any other legal action) without affecting the privacy that the young girl retains currently.
This sounds like a difficult process for a young teen mom to navigate, right? In fact, it could not be easier. In their greed for blood money obtained from young teenage mothers in crisis pregnancy situations who lack parental guidance, abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood have attorneys standing by at all times, ready to cherry pick a pro-abortion judge and present a request for judicial bypass on her behalf. These attorneys are often zealous abortion advocates who carry out this whole legal process pro bono and in just hours. In fact, after the judge has heard the attorney’s request, if he or she does not rule on the request by the following day at 5 p.m., the order is granted automatically. There is even a non-profit organization, Jane’s Due Process, which is dedicated specifically to helping young women through this bypass to ensure that parents never know about their teenage daughters’ secret abortions.
The fact that the judicial bypass loophole exists at all is bad for both parents and young girls, who need guidance and love in order to safely make life-affirming decisions for their lives. But what makes the process even more despicable is the fact that the zealot attorneys representing these young, vulnerable mothers pressure judges to sign judicial bypass requests, insisting that they have an obligation and a responsibility to grant permission for medical reasons.
Especially vulnerable to this pressure are the appointed judges overseeing court proceedings for young women in the juvenile detention system. These judges are the only ones who can grant judicial bypasses to those girls, and when they are not innately pro-abortion or particularly liberal, attorneys are more likely to apply the pressure. They emphasize the so-called “medical necessity” of abortions, deceptively writing judicial bypass requests as vaguely-worded requests for “medical terminations.”
These appointed judges need to know that they have absolutely no obligation to subject vulnerable young women to dangerous medical care with life-altering consequences. Texas Right to Life was recently contacted by one of these judges, who was being pressured by an attorney to grant a request for two young women in the juvenile detention system to receive a leave of absence to travel to an abortion mill. One of the pregnant teens is carrying a baby who approaches the 20-week mark, meaning that her abortion would inflict excruciating pain on her unborn baby. Sometimes, attorneys add pressure to their requests, declaring that the abortions are medically necessary – something that is a virtual impossibility.
If you know judges in Texas, please forward this information to them as soon as possible. Judges in Texas need to be aware that they have no legal obligation to subject young women and their unborn children to abortion. The Texas Family Code is the basis on which a judge may rule against the decision:
Family code chapter 33, section .003(i).
“(i) The court shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the minor is mature and sufficiently well informed to make the decision to have an abortion performed without notification to either of her parents or a managing conservator or guardian, whether notification would not be in the best interest of the minor, or whether notification may lead to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the minor. If the court finds that the minor is mature and sufficiently well informed, that notification would not be in the minor's best interest, or that notification may lead to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse of the minor, the court shall enter an order authorizing the minor to consent to the performance of the abortion without notification to either of her parents or a managing conservator or guardian and shall execute the required forms.”
Judges are free to rule that a minor is insufficiently informed or not mature enough to undergo an abortion when there is no evidence of abuse and that an abortion is not in the best interest of the young mother. The more judges who are made aware of their rights and assured that they have no obligation to ever rule in favor of abortion, the safer young Texas women and their babies will be.
Yours for Life,