Over in Montgomery, Alabama, two lawyers are grappling with a court's ruling that a 12-year-old rape victim who has petitioned for an abortion should be able to get one without parental consent. The victim was raped by a relative, and has been placed in the custody of the state; she has asked that she be able to have an abortion without parental consent. "She has been victimized her entire life. Now, she’s being put in the position of being the perpetrator of this newest violence," said Lorie Mullins, arguing the position that the unnamed victim is too young to make the decision for herself.
Continued Mullins, according to AL.com: "She probably has trouble deciding what shirt to wear to school ... The courts, the law has decided that she's not old enough, wise enough and mature enough to make her own decision about whether or not she wants to drink, to buy a pack of cigarettes to drive a car ... They have now put this decision, this responsibility, in her hands. This is a 12-year-old child who now has the responsibility of life and death and no matter how you feel about abortion, that’s what it is, it’s a decision about life or death."
Mullins has not met or worked with the rape victim.
The girl's decision that she needed an abortion — a decision about which she petitioned the court — was supported by the Alabama court system, which ruled this month that she should be able to get a termination without parental consent. She testified that she needed an abortion because she was scared to have a child, and was 12 weeks' pregnant at the time of the filing, according to AL.com. She added that she did not want to communicate with her mother, whom Alabama has judged to have been neglectful and allegedly abusive.
Speaking at a press conference regarding the ruling, Mullins added: "I don't know what the perfect answer is, but I know this is not it. If I could actually speak to this child, the only thing I could say to her is you've been robbed of your childhood. Don't rob yourself of your future," reported AL.com.
Mullins argued that having an abortion is directly linked to mental health problems, substance abuse, guilt, and regret. This is false: More than one study has disposed of a link between long-term mental health issues and termination, and the overwhelming majority of American women who have abortions do not regret having them.