WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The state's social services agency was granted a court order to block an abortion for a pregnant 13-year-old girl living in a state shelter, prompting an emergency appeal Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU in its appeal on the girl's behalf cited Florida statutes that protect a minor's decision to decide on an abortion.
"No (Department of Children & Families) regulation or state law can override a constitutional right as recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court," said Howard Simon, the organization's executive director for Florida.
"But putting aside the legalisms, forcing a 13-year-old to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term against her wishes not only is illegal and unconstitutional, it's cruel."
The girl learned she was pregnant two weeks ago and planned to have an abortion Tuesday. Her caseworker arranged for transportation and help. But the state Department of Children & Families asked a Palm Beach County juvenile judge Tuesday morning to block the procedure.
The state agency argued the 13 1/2-week pregnant girl -described as L.G. in court documents -is too young and immature to make an informed medical decision, according to the ACLU appeal.