Skip to comments.Judge says ordering of abortion was justified
Posted on 02/21/2012 9:43:50 AM PST by Responsibility2nd
A family court judge who ruled that a pregnant woman with schizophrenia should undergo an abortion and be sterilized sharply defended her decision yesterday, while denouncing Boston University for withdrawing what she said was a job offer amid the controversy.
In a rare personal defense of the reasoning behind a court ruling, Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last month after 23 years, said she concluded that the woman, a 31-year-old who suffered from delusions, would choose to terminate her pregnancy if she were mentally competent, chiefly so that she could resume antipsychotic medication that would have harmed the fetus.
I believed then, as I do now, that she would elect to abort the pregnancy to protect her own well-being, she said. She would want to be healthy.
Speaking in detail for the first time about the decision, which an appeals court reversed last month in unsparing terms, Harms described the case as a tragic set of circumstances for which no outcome would have been easy or obviously correct. The woman had described herself as very Catholic and expressed opposition to an abortion, while her parents were seeking consent for the procedure.
In a letter that she sent yesterday to other family court judges in Massachusetts, Harms outlined the reasons for her determination and criticized the appeals court ruling, which she called simplistic and unfair.
The appeals court ruled that the woman had clearly expressed her opposition to abortion as a Catholic, but Harms wrote that the statements of a person suffering from schizophrenia surely cannot simply be taken at face value.
Harms said she has requested a meeting with the chief judge of the appeals court to register her objection to the insulting tone of the decision.
She also stated that Boston Universitys law school rescinded a job offer shortly after her decision came to light, an abrupt move she said could discourage judges from making unpopular decisions.
It strikes at the heart of what judicial independence is about, she said. We need to protect judges from the popularity of the moment.
A BU spokesman said yesterday that the university never officially offered the job but acknowledged that it eliminated her from consideration for the job - a new position that would guide students toward judicial clerkships - after her ruling came to light and stirred public outcry.
IBTZ and IATZ...I rule today!!
Oh darn! I missed this one.
My job interferes with my fun! LOL!
——The appeals court ruled that the woman had clearly expressed her opposition to abortion as a Catholic, but Harms wrote that the statements of a person suffering from schizophrenia surely cannot simply be taken at face value.-——
Reminds me of old Soviet Union, where “religious” and “psychotic” were synonymous.
Any doctor who performs abortions already has shown they don’t take the Hippocratic oath seriously, so why would this be surprising?
BTW, I don’t think the procedure was actually performed in this case, since the daughter won her appeal.
The United States of China
He may have been a class of ‘98. But zot don’t care.
Just for the record that position surprised me. It was not one I expected from that FReeper.
Me too. Me too.
Well, that’s three of us now! :)
If he’s the one I’m thinking of, he was a stalwart in the crevo debates. But I don’t recall any particular libertarian leanings out of that.
The banned played on.
I am not opposed to libertarianism in principle, in the abstract. (The devil is in the details.) What I am opposed to is, that if someone has gone nuts, presuming to stick Caesar jackboots-and-all into that someone’s mind. That is a very anti-libertarian move if anything. Maybe they had to lighten her beneficial medication a bit for the sake of the unborn baby, but it didn’t sound like she was in danger of a suicide, and when the pregnancy is complete they can put her back on her medications and hopefully she will regain some sanity. I could see maybe also putting her on a birth control pill, but a permanent sterilization? No way.
Surprised that bvw holds (held?) such a incredibly Nazi-like view.
The concept itself is neither new (it goes back to English law) nor controversial in theory. It becomes controversial in a few cases (this one and Terry Schiavo come to mind), but judges in every state every day are making medical and other decisions for incompetent people.
Do you consider that forcing a mentally ill person to abort her child falls under such laws that provide for "juditical supervision"?
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