Judges Are Denying Teen Abortions for Their Own Moral Reasons
In 37 states, an underage person seeking an abortion without their guardians' approval has to go to court, where a judge may refuse their case based on personal belief.
by Julia Ries
Jan 16 2020
According to new research, up to 13 percent of all teens seeking to get legal approval for an abortion without their parent’s involvement or consent are getting denied by judges in Texas, up from a mere 2.8 percent only a few years before. The study published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday is the first research to look at how often judges deny teens’ petitions for abortion, and mostly due to the judges’ personal and political opinions and not the actual merits of the cases, like if the procedure is medically recommended.
Thirty-seven states currently require pregnant minors to get the green light from one or both parents before receiving an abortion. It’s estimated that, depending on the state, anywhere from two percent to 23 percent of teens seeking an abortion pursue it via judicial bypass, which dates back to a 1979 U.S. Supreme Court decision which ruled that parents do not have an "absolute veto” over a child’s abortion.