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May 16, 2003 6:02 AM   Subscribe

Jeb Bush has asked a court to appoint a guardian for the fetus of a developmentally disabled rape victim. (reg: mefi, mefi) Never mind that in a 1989 case, the Florida Supreme Court declared that it was "clearly improper" to appoint a guardian for a fetus.

The 22-year-old woman is so disabled that her pregnancy is considered a product of rape, is incapable of consenting to a DNA test and cannot otherwise help the police find the father; but I'm sure she'll make a great mom!
posted by magullo (45 comments total)

 
but I'm sure she'll make a great mom!

what the heck is that supposed to mean?
posted by kv at 6:24 AM on May 16, 2003


I'm pretty sure magullo's being sarcastic, kv
posted by matteo at 6:32 AM on May 16, 2003


Lunacy.

This is a clear example of where the rhetoric has become so deeply entrenched that those espousing said rhetoric no longer even understand why they do it.

We have the likely pleasure of this man running for president in 2008 or 2012.

It is a completely absurd prospect in the eyes of the law of the land and his own state.

Of course, since when did Jeb Bush have much regard for the law of the land or his own state?

This is a profoundly unfortunate case. Why would he even be motivated to get involved?

Oh, that's right. A publicly known movement by him and his brother, and all of the right, to make legal attacks on abortion rights on any ground, no matter how trivial or inapplicable. Anything that can erode, even slightly, the right to legal abortion in this country.

Congratulations Florida! You must be very proud.
posted by Ynoxas at 6:32 AM on May 16, 2003


This has nothing to do with what kind of mother this young woman would be. This has everything to do with the fact that there are divergent interests here, and someone should be charged with representing each of those interests.
posted by Dreama at 6:38 AM on May 16, 2003


Abortion Law in Ireland

Referenda on Abortion Law in Ireland

Abortion is illegal in Ireland except when the mother's life is in danger (about 6,000 women travel to Britain each year for abortions). Pro-choice and Human Rights group routinely ask for exceptions -- in case of rape and incest.
Polish law only permits abortions in cases of rape or incest, where the fetus is deformed or where the mother's health is in danger.
posted by matteo at 6:40 AM on May 16, 2003


mom: developmentally disabled.
dad: sexual predator.
offspring: ________?________
situation: rock, hard place, heartbreaking.
involvement of politicians: vomit inducing.
posted by quonsar at 6:46 AM on May 16, 2003


This has everything to do with the fact that there are divergent interests here, and someone should be charged with representing each of those interests.

what divergent interests? In whose interest is it to make this woman become a mother?
posted by mdn at 6:48 AM on May 16, 2003


apparently, it's jeb's business.
posted by quonsar at 6:56 AM on May 16, 2003


perhaps this fetus is the next bush inheritor?
[smirks]
posted by quonsar at 6:57 AM on May 16, 2003


Identification of her attacker has been hampered because she is unable to consent to a DNA test. (from the "father" link in the FPP)

So they will not take a blood sample/mouth swab from this woman to help identify her attacker because she is incapable of giving consent, but they have no problem taking control of her womb without her consent?

Am I missing something here, or are the politicians?
posted by archimago at 7:01 AM on May 16, 2003


Who said anything about making this woman a mother? The way it read to me is that instead of waiting until she gives birth to give the baby up for adoption, Jeb wants to appt someone now to make sure that happens. And the pro-choice people seem to believe that abortion is preferable to adoption.

No one looks good in this scenario.
posted by jbelshaw at 7:05 AM on May 16, 2003


hell, if she was an alleged drunk driver, they'd have had a court ordered blood sample within minutes.
posted by quonsar at 7:06 AM on May 16, 2003


It's fun to let the commoners be tools of your political agenda.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:06 AM on May 16, 2003


We have the likely pleasure of this man running for president in 2008 or 2012.

Fucking poke me in the eyes with hot pointy metal rods, hack my balls off with a rusty hanger, set maggots onto my toes, and then perform Chinese water torture on me.
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:18 AM on May 16, 2003


he plans to do exactly that ufez, as soon as he purchases the presidency.
posted by quonsar at 7:20 AM on May 16, 2003


just another bush brother who loves jeebus! it's turning out that ol' brother jeb is as much a train wreck as his brother georgie.
posted by photoslob at 7:20 AM on May 16, 2003


So, we are pro Jeb Bush in '08, right? Someone really should put together a printable Mefi Voter's Guide or something.
posted by UncleFes at 7:27 AM on May 16, 2003


It seems like grandstanding to me - has anyone actually petitioned the court to force this woman to have an abortion? Seeing as she cannot give her consent, it would be forcing her to, wouldn't it? And on the other side of the argument, it's fair to say that the person who actually forced her to have the baby would be the rapist, who certainly should be prosecuted for that. Another reason this is grandstanding on Bush's part is that the fetus is 6 months old, and I'm not even sure of the legality under Florida law of an abortion at that late stage.

But this brings up another thorny question - is it the position of pro-choice people that people who choose to have babies should not have them protected by the law before they are born? If an idiot or a murderer killed a child you were expecting and wanting, wouldn't you consider it murder? Where is the government's recognition of OUR right to choose? Where is the legal protection for OUR right to have our children brought to term without interference by criminal acts?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:31 AM on May 16, 2003


he's going for the precedent. If the court appoints a guardian for the fetus, it will have a domino effect. Once fetuses have obtained their full "rights," it's only natural that we'll start granting rights to the sperm and the egg.

Then you'll be in trouble for that egg you wasted by menstruating or the seed you soaked the bedsheets with.

must. keep. making. babies.
posted by whatnot at 7:58 AM on May 16, 2003


Republicans: "Less government interference is a good thing."

Republican government: "Don't you dare make a choice about your uterus/blastula/fetus/unbornchild, don't fuck him/her/like that, don't look at/watch/enjoy images of naked people, don't smoke/snort/inject chemicals into your body, don't dispute all the religious references coating our politicians/schools/courthouses/money, etc, etc"

Am I missing something here?
posted by gottabefunky at 7:59 AM on May 16, 2003


And if we ever elect a president named Jeb am I hopping on the first plane to Rio, I swear to christ.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:00 AM on May 16, 2003


It's pretty clear to me that the Bushes are going for the presidential trifecta with Jeb. I look forward to the day our nation elects its first twin-female co-presidents and keeps the Bush Dynasty alive.
posted by archimago at 8:08 AM on May 16, 2003


Shouldn't this have been resolved when some states quit forcibly sterilizing developmentally disabled people?

google results on the topic. I have to go back to work.
posted by infowar at 8:21 AM on May 16, 2003


is it the position of pro-choice people that people who choose to have babies should not have them protected by the law before they are born?

Well its a substantial group but I suspect a general position would be that as people choosing to have babies usually keep the foetus within their bodies - at least until its ready to pop out and assume its legally protected role as a human - that these bodies should be protected by law from being subject to injury by others. Happily this is the law in most places.
posted by biffa at 8:30 AM on May 16, 2003


Gottabefunky, you're not missing anything, the Republicans are. A sense of irony.

Republicans (as a whole, the national party) are some of the most intellectually dishonest people I've ever met.
posted by zaack at 9:12 AM on May 16, 2003


perhaps this fetus is the next bush inheritor?

There is only one nation in the history of the world capable of electing a fetus president, and a number of us are livin' in it.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 9:13 AM on May 16, 2003


And if we ever elect a president named Jeb

I'm quite sure that his name is actually John Ellis Bush, so you'll be able to call him that when he's President.
on the other hand, Rio's a great place. Lots of crime, though, even by American big city standards
posted by matteo at 9:34 AM on May 16, 2003


And the pro-choice people seem to believe that abortion is preferable to adoption.

And in this case, I agree. This woman seems incapable of recognizing even her pregnant status, which - and I am out on a limb here - puts her right in the danger to the (mental) health of an already disabled person category (imagine how much fun the actual labor is going to be for her). Plus the pregnancy is the result of rape.

Call me nuts, but I'm labelling it NOT WANTED.
posted by magullo at 9:58 AM on May 16, 2003


I've said it before and I'll say it again. I am an adopted child, possibly the "product of rape." This woman can have her child and give it up for adoption to one of thousands of couples who can't conceive a child of their own.
posted by jasontromm at 10:14 AM on May 16, 2003


She can't choose either way - she herself is not choosing to put her child up for adoption, someone else would be.
posted by agregoli at 10:21 AM on May 16, 2003


Forgive me for wondering this. If the woman in question is so developmentally disabled, shouldn't she be the one with a guardian? And shouldn't this guardian have the authority to authorize medical treatment such as treatment of illness, prenatal care, and DNA tests? Furthermore, isn't such guardian a de facto guardian of the fetus (being guardian of the woman said fetus is attached to)?
posted by ilsa at 11:24 AM on May 16, 2003


My understanding is that she has one, ilsa. The question is whether the fetus deserves one too, since what's best for it is not necessarily what's best for the mom.
posted by callmejay at 11:36 AM on May 16, 2003


Well aren't you special, jasontromm.

Yah, I know: I come off as the world's biggest asshole for that. I've probably hurt your feeling but bad.

But, shit, are you going to tell us all that your life is so all-fired important to this world that it would have been a disaster had you never been born?

Don't mistake me: I'm sure you're quite pleased to have had the opportunity to live. And there are probably a dozen people who are indeed better for your having had a life.

But in the big scheme of things -- you know, the one where there are about six billion people in the world, the one where you don't save mankind from invading space aliens or develop the cure for cancer or bring about world peace -- you are not very important.

This isn't to say you should despair and kill yourself. Or that it isn't worth trying to live a good life. Hell, you're here, celebrate it, do well, be thankful, all that shit.

But in all honesty, the world would be no different at all had you not been born -- either not born because you were aborted, or not born because some other spermie managed to cross the finish line ahead of the one that created you.

Your joy at not being aborted is certainly no argument against abortion.

If it were, then one would have to logically conclude that all available eggs and sperm had best be brought to fruition, lest some would-be life be lost.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:39 AM on May 16, 2003


Ilsa, I was wondering the same thing. Why would said guardian *not* have allowed the DNA test, anyway? Isn't it in the woman's (and everyone else's) interest to catch the guy who raped her?
posted by beth at 1:18 PM on May 16, 2003


beth, Ilsa, I've finally figured out why Jeb Bush may be trying to appoint a guardian for the fetus - it's not the woman's DNA that's going to prove anything, it's the baby's - and perhaps, Bush feels that waiting until the baby is born would give a suspect time to get away or that for legal reasons, not just the woman's "consent" (through her guardian) would be necessary, but the baby's "consent" as well - a competent woman would have the right to make this decision for the baby, but does the guardian for an incompetent woman have it? (Remember, there is a small risk to the baby involved here.) I'd bet this is the first such case in the DNA evidence era and there are probably no precedents or a clear law to follow.
posted by pyramid termite at 2:06 PM on May 16, 2003


Thing is, they probably could extract DNA now. I believe that the amniotic fluid contains DNA. I might be wrong, though.
posted by echolalia67 at 6:27 PM on May 16, 2003


Congratulations Florida! You must be very proud.

Don't blame me. I voted for Bill McBride.
posted by oaf at 6:36 PM on May 16, 2003


hell, if she was an alleged drunk driver, they'd have had a court ordered blood sample within minutes.

SHE is not the guilty party. A drunk driver is guilty. She had a crime committed against her.

There has been talk locally that the mother does not want an abortion. With this is mind, some of the medications the mother may/does take may not be good for the fetus, and that is more the reason why there is a seperate guardian for the fetus.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 9:23 PM on May 16, 2003


How interesting. Does that imply that for the safety of the fetus, they're going to risk the mother?

What a charming thing to do with a mentally disabled woman. Take away her meds.

America the compassionate.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 PM on May 16, 2003


Well one good thing about this week on MeFi. . . . .I had begun to believe that all the right wing morons in the world had converged on Oregon in order to save us from our own choices. . . .Thank you Texas and Florida!
posted by Danf at 7:45 AM on May 17, 2003


Fish--I never said take away her meds. Nice of you to put words in my mouth and to ASSUME things. There might be alternative meds. Of course, you may not want to know or hear that so you can continue your bashing.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 10:01 AM on May 17, 2003


The Politics of Choice
posted by homunculus at 10:10 AM on May 17, 2003


RWBS, I didn't put words in your mouth. Quit being so "sensitive." Sheesh.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:34 AM on May 17, 2003


I'm not being sensitive. Just stating possibilites others don't want to think about before jumping to their conclusions.
posted by RunsWithBandageScissors at 1:03 PM on May 17, 2003


either way, to be on the safe side, five fresh fish wash those fingers now. RWBS, rinse, gargle, spit!
posted by quonsar at 5:00 PM on May 17, 2003


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