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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 April, 2005, 08:17 GMT 09:17 UK
Florida girl has abortion blocked
By Jeremy Cooke
BBC News, New York

Young mums pushing prams
Some say forcing a 13-year-old to give birth is illegal and cruel
A pregnant 13-year-old girl in Florida has been told she cannot have an abortion because she lacks the maturity to make such a decision.

A state court granted an injunction which prevents the girl from terminating her pregnancy.

She is three months pregnant and had planned to have an abortion on Tuesday of this week.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it will launch an urgent appeal against the ruling.

'Too young to choose'

Florida's department of children and families intervened and took the matter to court, arguing the teenager, who is under the care of the state, is too young and immature to make an informed medical decision. Judge Ronald Alvarez in Palm Beach accepted that argument and has granted a temporary injunction and psychological evaluation, which effectively blocks her from terminating the pregnancy.

It is a case which, once again, plays into the heated and divisive debate about abortion in America.

The judge's ruling comes in spite of Florida state law which specifically does not require a minor to seek parental consent before an abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union 's executive director in Florida, Howard Simon, said forcing a 13-year-old to carry on an unwanted pregnancy to term, against her wishes, is not only illegal and unconstitutional, it is cruel.


SEE ALSO:
Bush hails anti-abortion 'gains'
24 Jan 05 |  Americas
Abortion battle rages on in US
04 Dec 04 |  Americas
US exports anti-abortion policy
28 Jun 03 |  Americas
US House bans abortion method
05 Jun 03 |  Americas
US abortion pioneer seeks ban
17 Jun 03 |  Americas
Roe v Wade: Key US abortion ruling
10 Dec 04 |  Americas


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