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Monday, November 5, 2012

Family Fights for Control of Mentally-Disabled Woman's Uterus

Posted by on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Thirty-two-year old Nevada resident, Elisa Bauer, has the mental capacity of a six year old. She lives in a group home under the guardianship of her parents and, a few months ago, she wandered away from the home and wound up pregnant.

Now her devout Catholic parents are fighting to block a Reno judge from investigating whether Bauer can safely carry her pregnancy to term because, as her guardians, they want her to continue with the pregnancy even at the risk of her health:

Elisa isn't just mentally disabled, but experiences sometimes life threatening seizures. A judge has stepped in to consider whether the woman should have an abortion to minimize potential risks to her health.

Despite Elisa's guardians, Reverend William and Amy Bauer, claims otherwise, it's a legitimate concern. In their own interview, they say that she needed to be tracked by the police when she made her frequent trips from the group home to nearby truck stops and casinos where she had sexual encounters (it's unclear whether the acts were consensual or not), so she could be monitored and ensure that she was taking her medication. Yet as soon as they learned she was pregnant, they took her to the doctor to see how her medicine may need to be changed to "minimize harm to the baby." Never mind those seizures.

Do the Bauers as her guardian have the right to make the final decision on her health? At this point legally, yes, that is exactly what guardianship is. But what if the pregnancy actually puts her in danger? It was her guardians' decision to take her off of birth control in the first place, worried that taking Depo-Provera was causing her problems with obesity. Moreover, they apparently feel the group home situation is sufficient protection for Elisa, while evidence that she continues to leave it and enter into dangerous situation suggests otherwise.

I don't pretend to know what's best for Bauer in this complicated case, but I'm glad the courts are investigating. As RH Reality Check notes, anti-choice activists are lobbying for the parents' legal rights to assume control of their daughter's uterus and make her push out a baby (seizures be damned!). Someone needs to ensure that Baeur's rights and health are given at least as much consideration as the contents of her uterus.

 

Comments (41) RSS

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wingedkat 1
Everything about this story is horribly depressing.
Posted by wingedkat on November 5, 2012 at 9:40 AM · Report this
2
This is just terrible. I would like to take issue with one statement from the original story: "(it's unclear whether the acts were consensual or not)" .

To me it's incredibly obvious, if a 6 year old can't give consent, how could someone with the same cognitive functionality give consent?
Posted by darkmane on November 5, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this
3
Even with the mental capacity of a six year old it should still be fundamentally her choice and the court should make a fair inquiry into what that is(Gaurdian Ad Litem, child interview specialist, whatever) and then make sure that is done.
Posted by giffy on November 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
4
If her parents are Catholic, how can her father be called Reverend? He can't be a married priest, and Reverend isn't a Catholic title anyway.
Posted by originalcinner on November 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
5
This is a really hard one for me.
I have a disabled child and, as his guardian, I want the ability to make decisions about his healthcare. The idea of a judge imposing something on me makes me sick to my stomach. If this were my daughter, I would have had her on birth control and/or would be getting her an abortion. Period. However, how can I demand that exclusive decision making power for myself and not grant it to parents with a different belief system? It's a slippery slope.
Several years ago the parents of a disabled girl in Washington got their daughter a hysterectomy (among other medical procedures) to stunt growth and prevent pregnancy and menstruation. Advocates for the disabled and reproductive rights advocates went wild. The hospital that did the procedures was sued. It was outrageous from the perspective of a caregiver, guardian and parent. Very scary. Where does it end? Could the courts step in and decide any of the medications my son takes are no longer acceptable? Could they take away his feeding tube because they think he should learn to eat on his own? Could they take him away from me because I decide to take him to a Naturopath and try to control his seizures naturally? Where does it end?
Posted by tacomagirl on November 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 6
Curious, would parents of a servery disabled daughter like Bauer have the legal right to have her tubes tied?
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on November 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 7
@5 - Yes, they could, if you were making unsafe decisions for your son. Don't put your son's life in danger, and you should be fine.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on November 5, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
8
I got into this abortion discussion on FB because one of the woman said if her 12 yo girl was raped and pregnant she would not let her have an abortion. When I pointed out how dangerous carrying to term for a 12 yo child is she denied the risk saying maybe 100 years ago and people used to get married and have kids at that age etc.. You can't reason with these anti-choice people - they'd rather put their ideology before their own kid's well being or life. I totally support their right to risk their own kids if they don't deny and fuck with other people's choice !
Posted by JaxBriggs on November 5, 2012 at 10:06 AM · Report this
9
@2 - maybe you are right, but it means this woman can never have legal sex, which maybe is not a great outcome for her.
Posted by minderbender on November 5, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
10
Careful--if you start taking into account the wishes of the womb-host, they'll want to vote and everything.
Posted by tiktok on November 5, 2012 at 10:15 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 11
With 1.

RH Reality check drops this bomb, unexplained:
"Elisa, who has the mental capacity of a six-year-old, is 11 weeks pregnant after leaving the group home in which she lives, and ALLEGEDLY PROSTITUTING herself at a truck stop according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.."

What? Had to check out the Las Vegas Review Journal's original reporting:
"The father of the fetus is not known. Elisa is thought to have wandered away from the group home, PROSTITUTED HERSELF at a truck stop and become pregnant during one of those encounters, according to her lawyers."

Wow, for someone who's brain is stuck at 6 years old, that's a lot of responsibility being leveraged at her. Funny how that term puts the ability to consent and to bargain at Elisa's feet and completely ignores the fact that there are men who fucked or raped a mentally disabled woman. But who cares about that? Forget how she got pregnant, except that it was by prostituting herself--let's just force her to carry her pregnancy to term.

"Her neurologist testified that she said she didn't want to have a baby. Her family disagrees and said she consented to pregnancy and adoption. Yet no one seems sure if she is able to honestly and in an informed way consent to either option."

Also, "the mental capacity of a 6 year old" -- a 6 year old can't consent. Yes, she's 32 and I don't presume to know how her mind works or if she perhaps can on some level consent and understand sexual actions. I'll leave that up to the neurologists of the world, but I can say I'm not comfortable saying she can explicitly consent to the point of sex work.

No one is asking about WHY she keeps running off from the care center. Is she being taken advantage of there? And when she does leave, does she do what she's learned at the facility?

It would seem the care she is receiving is insufficient. And I wonder at her ability to understand what is happening to her body during pregnancy, let alone the actual birth. Potentially traumatic for her.

I'm sorry this woman had the misfortune to be adopted to parents who put ideology above their own daughter's health and safety.

Who let's a 6 year old go to casinos and truck stops, repeatedly, where it is known she is at risk of being and has been preyed upon by opportunistic cocks? Oh, wait, someone who assumes she's prostituting herself and doesn't give a shit about her.

Ah, This is Reno says it more succinctly than RH and LVRJ:
"Because of her mental capacity, she does not have the ability to provide legal consent to sexual activity. She has a history of eloping from her placement and engaging in risky sexual behavior for money. The Court appointed the Public Guardian’s Office to investigate the ward’s condition as to medical, psychiatric, psychological, care and maintenance, and appropriateness of her placement." So, legally at least, men have been raping her and giving her a tip after. I'm glad they are investigating this ward; sounds very sketchy.
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Posted by femwanderluster on November 5, 2012 at 10:18 AM · Report this
12
Has anyone asked the woman whether she wants to have the baby?
Posted by kebara12 on November 5, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 13
Fuck religion.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on November 5, 2012 at 10:21 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 14
@11 Woah, slog why you gotta be tricky? Last sentences edited to read as follows but for some reason didn't take when posting:

So, legally at least, men have been raping her and giving her a tip after. I'm glad they are investigating this ward; sounds very sketchy. I also wonder at that term "prostituted herself"--since rape is one of the mostly acceptable (but still stupid, either abortion is legal or it is not) exceptions that even some forced-birthers, technically/theoretically anyway, allow an abortion in that case. Her religious adoptive parents probably don't want to bother with exceptions: just make her carry the pregnancy to term. I don't trust these people to understand their own daughter's mental capacity or how that plays a role in her actions and the actions other take upon her.

Just, yeah. @1, depressing as hell.
Posted by femwanderluster on November 5, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 15
If we start deciding who can have sex by what their mental capacity is, we'd outlaw sex for anyone living south of the Mason/Dixon line.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 5, 2012 at 10:24 AM · Report this
16
@2 When they say the mental abilities of a six year old, that is not the same thing as being six. That's the problem with the severely mentally disabled - there is no good answer with regards to sex. The problem is that they cannot consent as we tend to think of consent, but they often do have completely normal sex drives. Think of animals. A dog, for example, has a mental capacity of less than a 3 year old, but adult dogs certainly choose to have sex often. It's just not the same thing. But the other issue is that severely mentally limited people are at high risks for sexual abuse. That abuse can be traumatic to them, and they may not be able to report it afterwards. Letting people be raped is obviously bad. But denying an adult with an adult sex drive from ever having sex is also bad. I honestly see no good answer to this issue.

As to the pregnancy, I think legal guardians should be required to make decisions in the best interests of the person they are legally required to protect. If they deliberately endanger her life, they should basically be sued for something equivalent to medical malpractice or criminal negligence or something similar. They should be required to medically investigate and then choose a course deemed medically reasonable.

I fear the parents consider their daughter's life of low value, because she is so disabled. And so they hold a potential baby's life of more value than their actual daughter. But the disabled should have the same rights and protections as those who are not, and so the same medical standards should apply.

But it's kind of funny, because seizure medication is generally continued during pregnancy, since seizures cut off oxygen to the developing fetus and while many babies are born healthy after the mother has had seizures during pregnancy, the risk of medication is seen as smaller than the risk of seizures. So, maybe the parents want both the woman and the potential baby to die? Parents who are so concerned about their daughter being fat don't sound like ones who make the soundest of judgements.
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Posted by uncreative on November 5, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
17
So, from what I read on another site, this slog snippet does misrepresent some of what's going on.

The parents don't want to discontinue Elisa's seizure medication. They wanted to make sure that the seizure medication she's on is not going to harm the baby - hence consulting with a doctor. Who - at least on another article - is quoted as saying that women with epilepsy do successfully carry pregnancies to term - while on their meds - but that there is an increased risk of a disabled child due to the epilepsy meds.

I'm also confused about the married Catholic priest with the title of Reverend. There are a few married priests running around, but I'm reasonably sure this isn't one of them, and he'd be Fr, not Rev.
Posted by PuzzledKiwi on November 5, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
TVDinner 18
The term "reverend" is used to refer to a variety of petty office holders in the Catholic Church, most of whom can marry.

http://www.wikihow.com/Address-Catholic-…
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 5, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 19
@17,

Deacons are sometimes called "Reverend Deacon", which is supposedly the title preferred in print, and Deacons can be married.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 5, 2012 at 10:45 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 20
@5,

The courts will always balance your rights as your son's guardian with your son's rights as an individual human being, especially once he reaches adulthood.

And while some busybody might try to interfere in situations where they oughtn't (take your naturopath example), in most cases, the courts only get involved in cases of extreme and irrefutable abuse. Do you have the right to keep your son locked in the basement? No, you don't, and, were the authorities to find out about it, the courts would rightfully take guardianship from you.
Posted by keshmeshi on November 5, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
21
It's a modifier though... "Reverend Deacon" or "Reverend Father" or "Reverend Patriarch". It's not its own title.

BTW, I'd like to see some more digging around on this... I was really annoyed when this started hitting my FB feed through some pro-life friends last night. I figure there's another side of the story as to why the State had appointed somebody to represent Elisa's best interests. And I've been waiting for a non-biased source to pick it up and explain what's going on. Sadly, this doesn't seem to be something I can use to throw another set of facts into the discussion.
Posted by PuzzledKiwi on November 5, 2012 at 10:53 AM · Report this
22
Re: Priests and the title "Reverend..."

The title "reverend" is the official title for almost all Christian clergy. If I were going to send a letter to a Catholic priest, I would address it as, "Rev. Joe Smith," the same as I would address a letter to a Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal, etc. minister. If I knew the priest, my address on the actual letter might be, "Dear Fr. Smith," just like I would write, "Dear Pastor Smith," to a Lutheran pastor. Newspapers and other print media generally follow the convention of using "Reverend" for all clergy.

Second, Catholic priests actually can be married. If an Episcopal, Anglican, or Orthodox priest converts to Roman Catholicism, he can be ordained a Catholic priest even if he is married. The reason is that the Episcopal/Anglican and Orthodox churches have maintained the historic episcopacy, and supposedly, their bishops' lineages (in terms of ordination) can be traced back to Peter, just like in the Catholic Church (supposedly).

There are also certain Eastern rites within the Roman Catholic church that allow priests to be married, providing they marry before they are ordained. The Byzantine Catholic church is the largest of those rites within the U.S.

And yes, permanent deacons, who can be (and are actually encouraged to be) married men also have the title of "Reverend" in print, though their title within the church is,"Deacon." Permanent deacons can be married before they are ordained, but cannot marry afterward.

Here ends my church history geekdom.

Posted by Sheryl on November 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
23
I don't think Rev William Bauer is a Catholic. He's the rector at St Columba's Traditional Anglican Church in Fernley, Nevada.

He's an Episcopalian pro-lifer. Not a Catholic pro-lifer.
Posted by originalcinner on November 5, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Stiny 24
Last summer, I was an extern at a large hospital in central Florida. I scrubbed for a c-section (her fourth) on a 21 year old woman who had an IQ of 50. She lived in a group home. The infants she delivered were all in the custody of the state/adopted out. It was not known who the father(s) of the babies were. We were frustrated because the risk associated with c-sections goes up steeply after #3, and future pregnancies were at very high risk of placental problems, uterine rupture, etc. that would be life-threatening to her. Another pregnancy would be very risky, subsequent ones would be disastrous, and she had many reproductive years left.

Florida also has strict laws about who can consent to sterilization and when the procedure can be carried out. For instance, the consent form must be signed twice, both at least 30 days before but not more than 6 months prior to the procedure. Also, people who are incapacitated cannot consent to sterilization, and it's not really clear if a guardian can consent for them. This stems from an era when people (mostly female, young, poor and black) were sterilized without their knowledge or consent due to perceived mental deficiency. Essentially, we could not prevent risky future pregnancies in this young woman BECAUSE of her incapacity.

There were other cases. A woman in her early 30s who'd had a stroke during her pregnancy (she had a clotting disorder), spent weeks in the ICU before she regained consciousness, though she was left with Wernicke's aphasia and cannot communicate much. Another pregnancy would likely kill her. Her mother refused a tubal ligation for her. She cannot be sterilized.

Another: a woman born in another country who had a near-drowning incident as a toddler that left her severely brain-damaged and unable to speak. Her parents married her off to a much older man when she was a teenager. She was now over 40, pregnant for the 9th time. Her eldest child (a daughter, who was a teenager at that time), was her mother's caregiver and the one who spoke for her. The husband, of course, refused sterilization for this poor woman.

As a almost-doctor about to enter training in OB-GYN, this will be an issue in my career. I don't know what to do.
More...
Posted by Stiny on November 5, 2012 at 12:31 PM · Report this
25
@24 are these families unable / unwilling to use a reversible, long-term of BC like an IUD or implant? Obviously, in the last case yes - and that's absolutely heartbreaking. But in cases where it appears to be the law that's the problem, and not the families?

That's a horrible dilemma and position to be in. Can't even imagine.
Posted by PuzzledKiwi on November 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
TVDinner 26
@24: Holy shit, you're really on the front lines. Thank you for your work and for caring so much about the people you serve. I hope you remain this compassionate throughout your career.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM · Report this
27
Is anyone else wondering if the parents took her off birth control, knowing she went out and had sex, with the unspoken hope that they *would* end up with a grandchild?

Or am I simply deeply cynical? I can accept that. In fact, I hope I am, because otherwise...man. People.
Posted by FranFW on November 5, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
28
@27 - Actually, that was my first thought. They want a "healthy" child, and they don't seem to care what happens to the child that they already have, since she's broken.
Posted by sanguisuga on November 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
29
They have at least five other children who appear to be neurotypical. The six kids mentioned in the media (which includes Elisa) were siblings adopted together. The parents chose to care for the "broken" child.

So, I'm going to guess that this isn't an attempt to use a disabled woman to incubate a grandchild.

The parents also claim to have six families lined up who are willing to adopt the child if Elisa carries it to term, so they don't appear to want a baby for themselves.
Posted by PuzzledKiwi on November 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 30
WhothefuckgivesashitaboutREVERENDS/PRIESTS etc at this moment?

Really? THAT'S the big issue: can this dickhead say he's a particular kind of dickhead from this particular dickhead institution when that doesn't seem to be the proper dickhead title?

Questions of autonomy in the case of a mentally disabled woman who is physically 32 but mentally more like 6 who is now pregnant due to unexplained "prostitution" and will be forced to consent to carrying a dangerous and complicated pregnancy to term unless a judge interferes are of less interest than whether a reverend can call himself a reverend?

I mean: wank fuckin' wank, circle-jerk, wank.
Posted by femwanderluster on November 5, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
31
First this women was adopted at the age of 12 (from Costa Rica), at which point I have to assume her adoptive parents were well aware of her disabilities. She is now living in a group home. I'm sure that is because she became to much to handle (financially and emotionally) to take care of at home.
It is obvious that since she has epileptic seizures and has the mental ability of a six year old..she has some genetic issues. I'm sure the guy that "slept" her has some too. The overpopulated planet does not need more people with genetic issues that can not take care of themselves.
The taxpayers have been on the hook for this adoption from the word go. I'm sure the "parents" have not finacially contributed to her care for years. Having an abortion is the right choice. Her tubes should have been tied years ago. Sorry but not everyone should be a parent...that goes from having a child and raising it to be an adult, or just giving birth.
Posted by HadEnoughAndThenSome on November 5, 2012 at 9:45 PM · Report this
32
A 32 year-old woman is going to have the sexual drive of a 32 year-old woman, regardless of her developmental age or cognitive abilities. Why had the group home staff not taken steps to prevent these 'frequent trips' to truck stops and casinos? Even if the woman had received sex education, she doesn't have the mental capacity to make informed choices or give legal consent to sexual activity.

It's appalling that her parents are risking her life so that she can be an incubator to this fetus. Way to be consistent there, Catholics: you'll endager her life by changing her medications so as to not harm her fetus, but you took her off her contraceptive because you were concerned about her obesity?

Posted by ignatz ratzkywatzky on November 5, 2012 at 10:27 PM · Report this
33
Her weight may be of concern if she is physically dangerous to others or herself (ex: running into the road) at times and therefore difficult to restrain/tackle, or dangerous due to her seizures/medication, or if she has to be physically placed on the toilet in order to go to the bathroom, etc. Her parents may have put her in the home because she was running away at home as well, or to try to protect her from sexual predators. It's possible she'll perform sex acts for very little money, or something like a candy bar - e.g. prostitution, or that she enjoys it, or both. She's going to at truck stop, not everyone there is going to care how smart she is. It may not be immediately apparent she is not normal - she may look normal, she may be pretty. You don't have to do a lot of talking when you are blowing random guys in parking lots. Maybe she wants it to go further or maybe they do. No way to know. She may not be able to switch medications without significant danger to her life - often only one medication works, or only one works well, and going through months of trying different medications is not an option in this case. It's also likely her medication does cause birth defects, like, say, Depakote, especially if she's at a high dose. If she's been tried on other meds before (likely when she came to the US at 12) and failed on them, it would put her life in danger to go on the med-roulette again. Her parents don't believe in abortion for any reason. To me this seems a more consistent ethical stance than that of those who would make exceptions. I don't like it but at least it's morally consistent. They can't allow an abortion so they want to secure the health of the baby. It may indeed be at the sacrifice of the mother, but then, isn't epilepsy either 1)God's will or 2)Satan's touch? I'm betting they aren't crazy enough to go with the second. So they believe God will take her and she will be whole in heaven. Which would arguably be an improvement depending on how happy she is. She could be miserable. If she's always running away, what do you think? At least no one has taken her with them yet, which is a little surprising. A point in the truckers favor, really.
More...
Posted by gnot on November 6, 2012 at 5:32 PM · Report this
34
Also, if the seizures are potentially lethal there is probably a cardiac defect or stroke potential. Which means obesity is also life threatening. They may have taken the safer route pulling her off. They should have put in an IUD, but again, they would believe that was an abortion device as conception still occurs with an IUD, the fertilized egg just can't implant. At least with BC pills, that would not happen, sperm just get blocked.
Posted by gnot on November 6, 2012 at 5:38 PM · Report this
35
Or conception might still occur. Hm, not sure. Anyone know what the Christian conservatives think about copper IUDs?
Posted by gnot on November 6, 2012 at 6:24 PM · Report this
36
Situations like this are why certain aspects of the Community Care Act - meant to keep disabled people out of nursing homes - need to be looked at very closely. I'm physically disabled, my sister is physically and mentally disabled (with a functional level roughly equivalent to the woman in this story). As written, the CCA encourages group home placement over nursing home placement... that's fine. It saves money, in most cases it's more appropriate, and it does allow disabled people to be more involved in their local communities.

The problem is, many if not most group homes are underfunded and understaffed, and as a result, they're forced to house people with vastly different disabilities under the same roof - so, for example, a person with cerebral palsy with an average degree of mental acuity and no behavioral problems, a person with an average degree of mental acuity and a seizure disorder and no behavioral problems, a person with autism with a lower degree of mental acuity and some minor behavioral problems, and a person with schizophrenia and a low degree of mental acuity with severe behavioral problems, might all be housed together (examples pulled and combined at random, not meant to insinuate that a person with cerebral palsy can't have behavioral problems, that people with autism can't have a high degree of mental acuity, or that a person with schizophrenia can't behave themselves perfectly well).

In a nutshell, because people in group homes aren't "sorted" into "those who need a lot of staff" (either for mobility/medical need, supervision, or safety of themselves or others) and "those who need minimal staff"... or into "those who are disabled but high functioning," and "those who are disabled and not as high functioning" - it's incredibly common for someone who needs more supervision than they're getting to slip through the cracks. All it takes is for someone to "go into behavior" (as it's called in group home parlance), and the staff has their hands entirely full, leaving other people to go unsupervised or with basic needs unmet until order is restored.

That's not to say that group homes don't have their place - for some people, it's truly the only safe place for them (and I have friends in group homes who can and do tell me that themselves). But if we're going to push to offer more people a group home setting instead of institutionalization, then the funding, the staff, and a basic discussion of *which* group home would be the best placement for each individual person has to happen. At the moment, that conversation isn't happening on any level, and it leads to terrible situations like this, wherein something happens at the group home for which there is no contingency plan, and the disabled person's thoughts regarding those kinds of situations are rarely, if ever, solicited. (Depending on the situation, the disabled person may or may not be able to make the decision by themselves, either due to inability to understand their choices or inability to articulate their ideas; there is no absolute solution here. But whenever possible, their opinion should be given serious consideration.)
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Posted by seanchai on November 7, 2012 at 3:28 AM · Report this
37
@24, I feel for you. My sister functions *just* high enough that on a good day, we can discuss these things with her and be sure of her ability to comprehend her options and the consequences thereof. The only reason we're not both in a group home already is my (elderly, in poor health) mother, who is, at the moment, still able to care for us - I'm pretty independent around the house, but I can't drive or work, and my sister would probably do quite well in an independent living program with close supervision (such as a personal care attendant cum roommate), but no such animal exists in our state... so I live in absolute terror of what will happen to both of us when Mom goes (while scrambling to find better options, having had a few close calls). Group home placement, aside from being entirely inappropriate for both of us - though for different reasons - would almost certainly wind up in pregnancy for my sister eventually... so we have regular talks about sterilization. She's not only on the fence, she doesn't qualify to have one done, because she's just high functioning enough (on a good day) for insurance to claim she can't have one till she's 35, in case she changes her mind between now and then. And the whole "in case you change your mind!" clause is *why* she's on the fence.... she thinks "in case you change your mind" means "you WILL change your mind," so it creates a vicious circle of indecision out of what would otherwise be an easy call for her. Meanwhile, all three of us have to pray that in the meantime she won't be raped, coerced (very easy to do, just tell her you're her friend!), bribed, etc. Perfect example of well intentioned laws resulting from horrifying history, that are unwittingly creating a horrifying present. Best of luck to you.
Posted by seanchai on November 7, 2012 at 3:50 AM · Report this
38
@37 - is the state ok with an IUD?
Posted by gnot on November 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
39
"Reverend"? I thought they were Catholic.

I could see this as two parents' desperation for a grandkid under any circumstances. It might be likely if this woman is their only child. But did a doctor say that the pregnancy would be bad for her health?

In the Catholic take on abortion, it's okay for a woman to do something that would end a pregnancy, like undergo chemotherapy, so long as abortion isn't the point. Just continuing with her regular seizure medication is acceptable, RC-wise. Adjusting it to avoid harm to a proto-human is going above and beyond.
Posted by DRF on November 8, 2012 at 10:14 AM · Report this
40
And I realize that the point of this thread is to get into what the parents are doing, but shouldn't the question of "Who raped/seduced/both the mental six-year-old also be on the list?"
Posted by DRF on November 8, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
41
@40, sure, but it's probably lots of people at this point. And if she is initiating, well, I know it's rape because she can't consent, but you'd probably have to prove the guys knew that. And I don't know that you could.

Also, people seem really mad at the parents. These are the good kind of pro-lifers guys - people who actually live the principles they preach, not hypocrites. They adopted seven kids, two special needs. They believe in no exceptions. They live by those consequences. I don't agree with them, but they aren't like those assholes you see spouting off against abortion who would never under any circumstances adopt a kid, especially a special needs kid, and who would probably get an abortion for their pregnant teenage daughter and then lie about it as a family forever. Maybe you think the adoption is just something they do to fit into their public image as church people, but that's a hell of a long way to go just to look good to a congregation. Not everyone is willing to take on a 12 year old special needs kid, much less two. I don't think they are bad people.
Posted by gnot on November 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this

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