- A Minor
In Alabama, state law forbids a minor (anyone under eighteen) to have an abortion without a parent’s consent. Kathy is a seventeen-year-old woman who is accidentally pregnant after having sex once with her boyfriend. Her parents are divorced, and she lives with her mother and an alcoholic stepfather who frequently abuses Kathy and her mother. She does not want to tell her mother or her stepfather about the problem because she is afraid she will be beaten by the stepfather. She wants to have an abortion, so she goes to an abortion clinic. The people at the clinic are eager to challenge the law about minors, and they offer to give her free legal representation if she takes the case to court. She goes to court, but the judge rules against her—she cannot get a legal abortion without her parent’s consent. Her lawyer wants to appeal the case to a higher court, but by the time Kathy gets to court again, the fetus will be viable, and she does not want to abort a viable fetus. What should Kathy do?