Abortion and the Mature Minor In Texas
In In re Jane Doe, (Tex. 2000) the Court set out three elements of proof necessary for the determination that Doe was not mature.
First, the minor must show that she has obtained information from a health-care provider about the health risks associated with an abortion and that she understands those risks as they apply to her pregnancy. See 19 S.W.3d at 256.
Second, she must show that she understands the alternatives to abortion and their implications. See 19 S.W.3d at 256.
Third, she must show that she is aware of the emotional and psychological aspects of undergoing an abortion. See 19 S.W.3d at 256.
The Court examine each of these factors in turn to determine whether Doe has established as a matter of law that she is "sufficiently well informed."
The trial court found that Doe has been "well apprised of the risks attendant to abortion and childbirth."
Doe's testimony fully supports this finding. Doe testified that she had discussed the abortion procedure briefly with a doctor and in much more detail with a counselor. She related her understanding of the procedure in some detail and its attendant risks during and after the procedure. She expressed an understanding of post-operative precautions and requirements.
Doe also testified that a nurse performed an ultrasound to determine fetal age and that she understood that the chance of complications from the procedure at this point in the pregnancy was not great but would increase as the pregnancy progressed.
She testified to her understanding that it would still be legally possible to obtain an abortion after her eighteenth birthday, but stated that she would not undergo the procedure at that late date.
From the foregoing we conclude, as the trial court did, that Doe obtained information from a health-care provider about the risks associated with an abortion and that she understood those risks.
The court of appeals held that Doe failed to satisfy the second Doe factor, which requires the minor to show "that she understands the alternatives to abortion and their implications."
While the minor is not required to justify her decision, she must "be able to demonstrate that she has given thoughtful consideration to her alternatives, including adoption and keeping the child."
The Court also noted that the minor should be aware that if she keeps the child, the law requires the father to assist in the financial support of the child. See 19 S.W.3d at 256, (citing TEX. FAM. CODE 154.001).