By Meaghan Pedati, Law Student
In Reno, Nevada, Judge Egan Walker is being asked to decide if an adult woman should be forced to have an abortion, despite objections from the woman’s parents. 32- year-old Elizabeth “Elisa” Bauer was adopted by Amy and William Bauer in 1992. Elisa is considered to have the mental and social capacity of a 6-year-old. She also suffers from epilepsy. Amy and William Bauer have been Elisa’s appointed guardians since she was 18. The circumstances surrounding Elisa’s pregnancy are unknown. But Elisa is in her 12th week of pregnancy and her parents, who are Catholic, oppose the abortion.
The Bauer’s filed papers in Nevada’s Supreme Court to stop the District Judge from holding hearings that could allow the judge to force Elisa to have an abortion. One of Elisa’s attorneys, David Ortiz, believes that hearings that have already been conducted are illegal because no one from the family had formally requested the hearings. The Bauer’s further believe that on matters of health care, including pregnancy, decisions should be left to the guardian. Elisa has expressed that she wants to carry out her pregnancy, even though she will be unable to care for her child.
Outside medical advice has been sought and Dr. Michael Czerkes, an OB/GYN at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Maine, found that the abortion is not necessary for the health of the mother or the unborn baby. Elisa’s consumption of anti-epileptic medication does not necessarily harm the unborn baby. It only requires additional monitoring during the pregnancy.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to receive additional information by Monday at noon before they decide if a hearing may proceed.
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