Forced Termination of Pregnancy for the Mentally Disabled… Seems a Little Harsh…

A Nevada couple is in the midst of legal battles regarding the pregnancy of their 32-year-old handicapped daughter. The daughter, Elisa Bauer, functions at the level of a six-year-old and suffers from seizures. She wants to carry the baby to term and her parents who are her legal guardians, support her decision and are helping her maintain good medical care since it is a high-risk pregnancy. Elisa understands that she will not be able to care for the baby so she wants to put it up for adoption, which her parents are also helping arrange. It seems like a family situation, right?

Wrong. Enter Social Services who have stepped in and requested a Court hearing about the pregnancy. They are of the opinion that the pregnancy will be detrimental to Elisa’s health and dangerous to the fetus so they are asking that she be required to abort the baby and be sterilized. Of course, this has attracted the attention of pro-life groups, but the concerns extend way beyond the issue of abortion. The family is trying to block the hearings, but the Nevada Supreme Court has ruled that the hearing may continue.

Maybe it is just me, but I find it absolutely appalling the the government would think they have the authority to force this woman to have an abortion or that they have any right to make decisions about an individual’s personal health and life choices. The situation might be different if Elisa did not have legal guardians or if her legal guardians were not taking control of her medical care, but Elisa does have legal guardians and they are making sure she is taken care of. If the case was a pregnant 14-year-old who was not mentally handicapped, the decision would be entirely left to the family. How is this case any different?

It will be interesting to see how the hearings turn out, but even if the court rules in favor of Elisa and her parents, I find it completely ridiculous that the government would feel that they have any right to weigh-in on an individuals decision to have a child.

Here are the articles I referenced:


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