Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-01-03

Mentally Disabled Florida Rape Survivor to Carry Pregnancy to Term

After much back and forth about the health risks of a pregnancy for a mentally disabled woman who became pregnant after she was raped while under the state's care, a Florida judge approved a decision made by the woman's court-appointed guardian to carry her pregnancy to term. Known only as JDS, the 22-year-old woman has the mental capacity of an infant and does not even know that she is pregnant. Patti Riley Jarrell, her court-appointed guardian, decided that it was in JDS' best interest to complete the pregnancy rather than have an abortion, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.

Women's rights advocates have expressed concern over the court's decision. "JDS is a rape victim. She has the mental capacity of a toddler," Carla Josephson, president of the Orlando National Organization for Women told the Sentinel. "So I question how it can be in the best interest of a toddler to go through a pregnancy and delivery. None of this is improving her life." After JDS gives birth, expected within two months, the Florida Department of Children & Families will take custody of the newborn. The child will then most likely be placed in a foster home and put up for adoption.

In the meantime, Governor Jeb Bush is continuing efforts to appoint a guardian for the fetus that JDS is carrying. Although a Florida judge has already said that there is no legal basis for such a request - a ruling affirmed by a similar Florida Supreme Court decision in 1989 - Bush continues with what is a loosely veiled attempt to undermine abortion rights by granting legal personhood to a fetus.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Florida National Organization for Women have filed a 23-page brief with the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Florida opposing Bush's request.

DONATE: Stop the assault on reproductive rights

Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 6/27/03; Orlando Sentinel 6/26/03; Associated Press 6/25/03; CNN.com 5/30/03


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

10/24/2014 Thousands of Women in Iran Protest Acid Attacks in Wake of Religious Law - On Wednesday, thousands of Iranians in the historic city of Isfahan gathered to protest recent acid attacks on women. . . .
 
10/24/2014 Potential Ballot Measure in DC Would Raise Minimum Wage to $15 - Low-wage workers in Washington, DC might see a significant increase in their pay, thanks to national labor rights group Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC). This month, the DC Board of Elections approved language submitted by a local chapter of ROC to raise the minimum wage in the District to $15/hour by 2019. . . .
 
10/23/2014 All of Tennessee's Major Newspapers Have Urged Voters to Reject Anti-Abortion Amendment 1 - All four of Tennessee's major papers have spoken out to oppose Amendment 1, a dangerous anti-abortion measure that will be decided by voters this fall. . . .