Florida Judge OKs Abortion for 13-Year-Old

Florida Judge OKs Abortion for 13-Year-Old (WaPo – AP)

A judge has ruled that a 13-year-old girl at the center of an abortion fight with the state may terminate her pregnancy. Juvenile Judge Ronald Alvarez on Monday ruled that the teen, who has been in state custody for four years, would not be physically or emotionally harmed by the procedure. Last week, Alvarez blocked the girl’s abortion until a psychological evaluation was completed. “He ruled that she is competent, that she has made a decision and that she has a right to act on that decision,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the girl.

The state Department of Children & Families had argued that the girl, known only in court papers as L.G., was too young and immature to decide for herself to have an abortion. The agency said state law prohibited the agency from consenting to the procedure.

We have a bizarre morass of ages wherein people are held to be responsible enough to make decisions. A 13-year-old can’t drive, purchase a pack of cigarettes, or have a beer for many years. On the other hand, they are often tried as adults if they kill someone. Unless it’s a fetus, in which case a judge has to decide for them.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. And that is just disturbing and wrong.

    The Judges last name might as well have been “Hitler”

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    The law is a hodgepodge in the “responsibility” area, I agree. But this seems like a reasonable decision given what I know about abortion law.

  3. Hal says:

    Love the Hitler remark.

    All class.

  4. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘Juvenile Judge Ronald Alvarez on Monday ruled that the teen, who has been in state custody for four years, would not be physically or emotionally harmed by the procedure.’

    Really? He can rule she won’t be emtoionally harmed?

  5. McGehee says:

    I really hate to say this, J.Mark, but I find myself actually agreeing with Hal.

    [gets up from computer to take another shower]

  6. Boyd says:

    Well, I don’t hate to say that I agree with Hal. It’s just that he and I don’t usually get to that point without a whole lot of yelling first. 🙂

  7. MC says:

    Rather than focus on whether you agree with someone’s appellation – isn’t it the case that this judge is another purveyor of the culture of death? Call him what you will – he is conducting murder by judicial fiat – and he has further diminished the constitutional protective powers of the executive. How long will you wait before you take a stand against judicial tyranny? Until they rule that you are as competent or incompetent as they choose so that they can kill you?

  8. Anderson says:

    So, MC, every judge who imposes or sustains a death penalty is “conducting murder by judicial fiat”?

    No, wait, it’s okay to kill grown people, but not unborn ones. Because the grown people did bad things. Which makes it okay for us to kill them, even though it’s not in self-defense.

    “Culture of death,” indeed.

    I think abortion sucks, and I’m very sad that a 13-year-old would be pregnant in the 1st place. But have you ever seen pregnancy? Would you wish it on a 13-year-old? Or are we punishing her for being bad, too?

  9. MC says:

    Actually, death penalties are promulgated by a jury of peers – 12 human beings not wearing black robes that must agree on final justice in the most egregious circumstances.

    So go ahead and defend the indefensible – let’s let the guy that dismembered his victims and ate them with a nice plate of fava beans and a good chianti go on the public dole because it just isn’t palatable to remove his scourge from our midst.

    But let’s support the singular ‘justice’ who chooses to kill the helpless innocent. At least you are being consistent – always defend the murderer.

    Have I ever seen pregnancy? You write of it as if it were a fate akin to death. Most people agree that a woman is at her most beautiful when she is pregnant. And all of us that exist began as a result of a successful pregnancy.

    Have you ever seen an abortion? I believe if everyone would look at the death experienced by the innocent person who as early as 8 weeks recoil in horror and lift their little arms in puny defense against cold steel that dismembers their little bodies – abortions would cease. It is only because the physical evidence is well hidden from the public and those that have had life ripped from their wombs are plied with a copious pharmacy that it continues.

    Would I wish it on a 13-year-old? Of course not – who would? I have seen 13-year-olds who in such circumstances come to term and deliver their child and put it up for adoption or who are surrounded by a loving family who raise the child as another of their own and the result is a much healthier person than one who has a living person ripped from their womb and never recover from the psychological damage that results.

    Have you ever seen a girl who grows into a woman who counts as the singular defining moment of her life when her unborn child was killed inside of her and she can’t forget that child – she dreams of the child over and over again – she sees that little accusing face every night and hears that little voice ask ‘why’ every night? I have and it seems to me that there is almost no consolation for someone like that – that is if you discount a permanent vicodin scrip.

    So, punishment is not what I have in mind – it’s deliverance.

  10. Jack Tanner says:

    ‘Because the grown people did bad things’

    Trivializing first degree murder isn’t very persuasive.