I have been following
the story of 32 year old Elisa Bauer who suffers from epilepsy, bipolar disorder & mental impairment. Her parents & legal guardians were taken to court to try & force her to have an abortion against her wishs & those of her parents.
On 1 Nov the court heard testimony* from two obstetric experts, Dr. Robert Slotnick and Dr. Stacy Mellum, both of Reno. Dr. Slotnick, the obstetric expert called by the court, said that regardless of her parents’ wishes to the contrary, the best thing for her would be to “end this pregnancy and tie her tubes.”
Dr. Mellum testified on behalf of Elisa’s parents, told the court that the standard medical protocol for a high-risk epileptic pregnancy is careful monitoring and management of medication, not abortion. He told the court “I’ve managed very many patients with similar type epilepsy and they’ve done very well with no complications.”
As a part of the hearing proceedure, Judge Walker assigned another attorney, Karen Sabo, to serve as a guardian ad litem to speak on Elisa’s behalf. Sabo made her intentions very clear & didn't mind lying about the facts to do it. “We’re here because this woman’s guardians have attempted to deny her right to choose. There’s a reason it’s called Roe versus Wade.” There is 1 huge problem with her arguement, Bauer's parents were appointed guardians in the 1st place because she was mentally incapable of making decisions as serious as this.
Bauer family attorney Jason Guinasso pointed this out. He called Sabo's claim “preposterous.” He told Judge Walker “[The right to choose] is an umbrella over the guardians as well as Elisa, and this court by intervening pierced that right.”
He went on to say “Those health care decisions are supposed to by statute be made by the guardians.” Then he reminded the court that “in 1998 Elisa … was already declared incompetent.” He added that the “petition specifically says that it was being made so that decisions about her living arrangements could be made and an informed consent could be given toward health care decisions.”
The transcript shows that Judge Walker agreed with Guinasso’s assessment, saying, “Sure.”
Guinasso continued. “And so both by the Court’s order and by the statute, this couple has been given the right and the responsibility to make decisions about all aspects of her health care, including her pregnancy.”
Dr. Mellum's recomendations as well as what Guinasso said lines up with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG’s) published recommendations, They state that “when a cognitively disabled person becomes pregnant, there should be an investigation to ascertain if there is abuse.” (There has been no abuse has been alleged in the Bauer case.) “If a patient cannot give her own consent for decisions concerning a pregnancy, a meeting with her family or caregivers is indicated to discuss all the aspects of the pregnancy.” Abortion is not mentioned anywhere in their recommendations. & her family/guardians were consulted. They talked to Elisa & they all agreed to keep the baby. Notice that Elisa was given the opportunity to make a choice as best she could, not denied it.
To repeat what Guinasso said about Sabo's claim: “preposterous.” Sabo isn't concerned about Elisa. It is clear that all she cares about is pushing the abortion inustry agenda. &, as I said, lying to do so.
The next hearing was scheduled for today. At it Judge Walker announced that abortion was no longer an option. The court-appointed attorney & guardian ad litem said they had been able to determine that Elisa did in fact want to carry the baby. Something tells me that Sabo didn't have too much choice to push her view that would force the abortion as there were witnesses who would show it was her, not the parents, denying Elisa to make the choice.
The judge also announced that the rest of the hearings would be closed to the public so they can be less adversarial. They will focus on Elisa’s well-being and future plans for her & the baby. That could still include having her tubes tied against her parents wishes. Her parents have already ligned up 6 possible couples to adopt the child. I suspect the court will agree to allow the adoption to go on.
This is a huge step in the right direction, protecting Elisa & her preborn child from having an abortion forced upon her against her choice to carry the child to term.
Now we must hope & pray the judge will reaffirm the rejection of forced sterilization of the mentally impaired by American society in the 70s.
* The Bauers attorney appealed to the Nevada state Supreme Courtthe next day, but the court allowed the hearings to continue.