A few days ago, a judge in Omaha, Nebraska gave permission to a 17 year old girl to have an abortion.  Not sure why it was a story, but…

For many years, the United States Supreme Court has said that states can require minors to get the permission of their parents or at least notify them before getting an abortion.    I have argued in previous blogs against these laws.  However, the Supreme Court also said that, if the state enacts these laws, then they also have to give the minor the option of getting permission from a judge.  And that’s what happened in this case.

The Supreme Court made it sound so very simple.  Well, little girl, if you really cannot talk to your parents, then all you have to do is go to a judge.

Let’s think about this for a second.

Take your average 14 year old girl.  She – unfortunately – gets pregnant.  I’m not going to get into chastising her, feeling sorry for her or whatever.  The fact is that she is pregnant and she does not want to have the child.  Sounds pretty responsible to me (yes, I know she was “irresponsible” to begin with, but…).    The problem is that her parents are pretty strict.  No, let’s say they are extremely religious and the girl knows that if she tells them she is pregnant, they’ll practically kill her.  She would ruin everything for her parents.  Now, if you are anti-abortion person please don’t give me that crap that the girl should go to her parents anyway and they’ll work it out.  In real life, unfortunately, every family is not perfect.

So, the girl has determined that she wants an abortion but cannot go to her parents.  But, wait, there’s an easy alternative!   You just have to go to a judge!

So, the young girl decides to pursue that option.  Well, how does a 14 year old girl find a judge?  In fact, as I think about that scenario, I frankly haven’t the foggiest idea how you would get that process started.  And I’m not a 14 year old girl or one of her friends.  Where do you find a judge?  Are there special judges for abortion cases?  What would be your Google search terms?

Ultimately, you might get lucky and discover that several pro-choice groups have lawyers that help women through this difficult process.  So, you talk to someone and they say they’ll help.

The girl then has to sit down with the pro-choice attorney and probably some other staff to discuss her situation.  She has to be prepared to talk about why she cannot go to her parents.  Think of how embarrassing this process is for her, even when she is in friendly territory.

Then, she finally has to go to court.  Have you ever been in court?  Did you not feel intimidated by the whole process?   Now, think about the 14 year old girl, going downtown to the big, marbled courthouse with hundreds of people running around in suits.  Think about walking into the cavernous courtroom, sitting there with the bailiff, the court reporter and possibly others waiting silently for the judge to come in.  The judge sits down and calls your case.  Think about the young girl walking up to the bench and having to talk about how she is mature enough to get the abortion.   That requirement always killed me:   the girl has to prove that she is mature enough to have the abortion but if the judge determines she is not mature enough, then the assumption is that she is “mature” enough to have the baby.

It’s always easy for some legislator in some state to get up and pontificate on what the law should be.  In this case, it’s easy to argue about this “judicial bypass” requirement as if it is such an easy thing for a young woman to do.

Get real, will ya?