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WILKES-BARRE, PA. Judge in abortion case awaits more legal papers



Published: Fri, August 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



John Stachokus, the father, won a temporary injunction.

PHILADELPHIA -- In a case that has galvanized both abortion-rights defenders and foes, a Pennsylvania judge has temporarily blocked a 22-year-old woman from having an abortion because her former boyfriend opposes it.

John Stachokus, 27, filed suit on Monday to force his ex-girlfriend, Tanya Meyers, to continue her nine-week pregnancy to term. She had been scheduled for an abortion the following day. Both acknowledge he is the father.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that an adult woman has the right to end her pregnancy until the fetus can survive outside the womb, at about 24 weeks.

On hold

Stachokus won a temporary injunction Monday blocking the abortion until Luzerne County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Conahan could hear from both sides. At a hearing Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Conahan ordered attorneys to submit additional legal papers by next Monday.

In an interview Thursday, Conahan declined to say he would rule Monday but stressed: "I will be ruling on it immediately upon receiving it. This isn't something you can let go by."

Meyers' attorney, Linda Rosenthal of the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy in New York City, decried the delay. "It's outrageous that [the injunction] was even granted in the first place," she said. "Under federal and Pennsylvania state law, no person has the right to veto an adult woman's decision to terminate her pregnancy."




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