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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-13-04

Court Rules No Guardian For Fetus

A Florida Appeals Court ruled on Friday that the state could not appoint a guardian for a mentally disabled rape victim's fetus. Justice Emerson R. Thompson wrote that "we find no Florida statute or case law that has determined a fetus to be a person," according to the New York Times.

Last spring, Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) intervened in the case when Florida's circuit court denied requests made by those who wanted to prevent the woman from having an abortion to appoint a guardian for the fetus. The New York Times reports that some see Jeb Bush's intervention as a way to satisfy conservatives and to win support for President Bush's 2004 election.

Abortions rights advocates believe that Jeb Bush's argument that fetuses deserve guardianship is a step towards preventing abortions broadly, reports that Miami Herald. According to Howard Simon, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, "When you set up a guardian for a fetus, you're creating a situation with the mother and the fetus having competing legal rights...there was no masking that this was a crusade to change the law, to limit the rights of women and bring to the Supreme Court something that would overturn Roe v. Wade," reports the New York Times.

TAKE ACTION Protect abortion rights by signing up for the March for Women's Lives on April 25

Media Resources: New York Times 01/11/04; Miami Herald 01/12/04


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