A lawyer, who was the former legal director for the Alabama court system, slammed a state court’s ruling that a 12-year-old rape victim could receive an abortion without parental consent. Addressing a crowd at an anti-abortion rally outside the Judicial Building in Montgomery, AL, on Wednesday, Win Johnson decried the court’s decision permitting the child to “murder her own child in her womb.”
Last week AL.com reported that the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals upheld a juvenile court’s ruling allowing the sixth grader to obtain an abortion without her mother’s permission. The girl was raped and impregnated by an adult family member who was charged with statutory rape. During her juvenile court hearing, the girl told the judge that “she did not want to have the baby because she was scared,” according to AL.com.
The child also requested that parental consent be waived because she did not have a “good relationship” with her mother — who was allegedly physically abusive. A social worker testified that the girl and her four siblings had been removed from their mother’s custody at least five times. At the time of her juvenile hearing, the child had been pregnant for 13 weeks.
While the district attorney opposed the juvenile court’s decision, Judge Scott Donaldson upheld its ruling.
At the anti-abortion rally, Johnson argued that the girl was not mature enough to decide she wanted an abortion. “In this case, they said, the girl’s mature enough to do this. They have no clue,” Johnson said. “They say it’s in her best interest to violate her conscience and murder her own child. That’s what they said.”
Johnson was joined by another anti-abortion crusader, COPE Pregnancy Center executive director Lorie Mullins, who said the child could expect years of substance abuse and depression after her abortion.
Johnson’s callous criticism is sadly unsurprising given his history of attacking same-sex marriage, but his comments lack an utterly unfathomable amount of sympathy for the child. No one should be forced to have a baby conceived after rape and no one should be forced to have a baby that is the product of incest.
The fact that Johnson expects a child to carry a fetus to term, against her will, after being raped by a family member is reprehensible. Johnson’s argument fails to consider the victim’s mental well-being. Nor does he consider if forcing a 12-year-old to give birth would endanger her life.
Having an abortion might be traumatic, but is carrying a baby whose conception was unwillingly caused by a family member any less distressing?
AL.com has the full video of Johnson’s remarks: