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Nevada court could order disabled woman to undergo abortion over Catholic parents’ objection

Catholic World News - November 05, 2012

The attorney for William and Amy Bauer, the adoptive parents of a pregnant 32-year-old mentally-disabled woman, fears that a Nevada district judge could order their daughter to undergo involuntary sterilization and abortion.

The Bauers, who adopted Elisa Bauer in 1992, were granted legal guardianship over Elisa when she became an adult because she has the mental capacity of a six-year-old. Elisa, who lives in a group home, became pregnant, reportedly at a local truck stop.

Although the Bauers found six couples willing to adopt Elisa’s baby, Washoe County Social Services requested a court hearing regarding the matter. The judge in the case said that “I have inherent authority to [override the wishes of Elisa’s parents] because the court appointed the guardians and they are agents of the court,” according to the Bauers’ attorney.

At an initial court hearing on November 1, doctors disagreed over whether an abortion should take place. The Bauers have filed a motion with the Nevada Supreme Court to stop the district court’s proceedings.

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  • Posted by: unum - Nov. 06, 2012 8:03 AM ET USA

    More evidence that our freedom of religion is no longer guaranteed by our Constitution. The Church needs to challenge the secular judiciary at every opportunity and we need to support Catholic organizations that mount legal challenges to such judicial activism!

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 05, 2012 3:40 PM ET USA

    This is news to me, that a guardian appointed by the court would continue in perpetuity to be an agent of the court. This is unheard-of, but not, I suppose, unexpected.

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