Florida teen wins appeal for abortion without parent's consent after judge denied her request in part because of her poor grades
- A Tampa teen won her appeal in court for the right to have an
abortionwithout parental consent.
Floridacounty judge denied her initial request, citing her "less-than-average" intelligence.
A Tampa teen won her court appeal to have an abortion without her parent's consent — overturning the decision of a Florida county judge who denied her request in part because of her poor grades.
Florida law requires anyone under the age of 18 to have parental consent to talk to a doctor about abortion, or to ultimately undergo one.
The 17-year-old — who isn't identified in the court documents — had told judge Jared Smith that she researched the procedure, had decided against adoption, and would speak with a doctor first.
But Smith ruled against the teen, writing that her "overall intelligence" — one of the factors a court considers in these cases — was not up to the appropriate standard.
"The court found her intelligence to be less than average because '[w]hile she claimed that her grades were 'Bs' during her testimony, her GPA is currently 2.0," Smith wrote, according to court documents. "Clearly, a 'B' average would not equate to a 2.0 GPA."
Smith said the teen's testimony was proof of "either a lack of intelligence or credibility."
But the Second District Court overturned Smith's decision, ruling 2-1 in favor of the teen.
The decision stated that the teen testified she had a 2.0 GPA "right now," and is "making Bs, so she hopes to bring her GPA up."
The teen also said she wants to go into the military, then to college, and ultimately study to become a nurse, District Court Judge Darryl Casanueva wrote.
In her testimony, the teen said that she wanted to have an abortion because she is "not yet financially stable," despite having a job and paying for some things she wants and needs on her own, and she "wants to be on her own first," Casanueva wrote.
Her boyfriend, the father of the child, supports her decision to have an abortion, according to testimony cited in the latest court ruling.
Casanueva ultimately wrote that "the petitioner's testimony demonstrates that she possesses an ability to assess the consequences of her choice and the risk it entails, as well as the intention to reassess her decision after consultation with her physician."
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