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Abortion case goes full circle



Published: Tue, November 20, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



One judge said he would have granted the request without further delay.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- The question of whether a 16-year-old girl can have an abortion without her parents' consent or knowledge has been sent back to Mahoning County Juvenile Court.

The girl, identified in court documents only as Jane Doe, sought juvenile court approval for an abortion last week, but Judge Theresa Dellick denied it.

The girl took her case to the 7th District Court of Appeals, which conducted a closed-door hearing.

In a 2-1 ruling, the appellate court reversed Judge Dellick's decision and sent the case back to juvenile court for reconsideration.

Judges Gene Donofrio and Mary DeGenaro did not order Judge Dellick to approve the girl's request, but they ordered that the court appoint a guardian for her and "proceed with consideration of the petition as required by law."

Dissenting opinion: Judge Joseph Vukovich filed a brief dissenting opinion, saying he would have simply reversed the juvenile court ruling and approved the girl's request to have an abortion.

A more detailed judgment entry from the appellate court is to be released later, said administrator Robert Budinsky.

Appellate court rules required the panel to hear and decide the case within five days after the appeal is filed.

Under Ohio law, a juvenile can seek court permission to have an abortion if she proves she is mentally capable of knowing what she is doing.

About girl: The girl is a high school student taking college preparatory classes. She and her boyfriend, whom she has been seeing for more than two years, both used birth control that malfunctioned, court documents say.

When the girl discovered she was pregnant, she immediately researched her options on the Internet and had a test done at Mahoning Women's Center to confirm the pregnancy, court records say. She is 11 weeks pregnant and due in June.

bjackson@vindy.com




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