CARSON CITY, Nev. — A Nevada state judge says he has 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 didn't make a decision, but asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Monday to let him go ahead with hearings as early as today to collect medical evidence about the woman's case.
In a case being watched by antiabortion groups, the woman's parents want the state high court to stop the proceedings. The parents argue that as the legal guardians, they have exclusive authority over the woman's health care decisions. The parents say their daughter has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old. She was living at a group home when she became pregnant 13 weeks ago. It's not known whether the pregnancy resulted from rape.
At a hearing last week, two medical experts testified the pregnancy carries risks because the woman has epilepsy and is on medication. They disagreed on whether the pregnancy should be terminated.