Great editorial in the Orlando Sentinel, first noted on Florida Politics. Most Florida papers are talking about the various egregious aspects of the foster-girl-abortion case (including the fact that only now are people asking about the “older man” who made the girl pregnant) but this one is superb. Of course, FlaPol notes its author actually voted for Jeb.
Bush stomps on rights of pregnant girl
May 5, 2005
The state constitution is optional reading for Jeb Bush these days as he continues using his office to push his personal beliefs.
His most recent action as Pope of Florida was trying to block a 13-year-old girl from an abortion.
Yes, this is a tragedy.
The girl had no legal parents — their rights were terminated for unknown reasons. While under the loving care of the Department of Children & Families, she managed to get pregnant…
…the same DCF that botched her care to begin with moved to block her in court. DCF has become a front operation for Bush. It is his right-to-life security force.
Apparently, the plan was to force the girl to deliver the baby.
A Tavares attorney who specializes in children’s issues, Jerri Blair, says DCF most likely would have then taken the baby and put it up for adoption because the girl could not care for it and had no family support.
The baby would have gone out the door because it is easy to find adoptive families for babies. But the girl would have stayed put because that is not the case for teenagers.
The state basically would have forced the girl to become a breeder for another couple.
“We are working for the best interest of the young girl,” said a DCF spokeswoman.
Somehow, the girl didn’t see it that way, and I can’t say that I blame her.
Bush had no legal grounds to intervene, and anyone with a law degree knew it. He eventually had to give up when backed into a constitutional corner, but not before stalling the process in court long enough to increase the medical risk from the abortion (even so, it still would be less risky to the girl than having the baby).
Does anyone really believe that Bush, DCF or all these Christian groups give one hoot about this girl? They simply folded up the circus tent over Terri Schiavo’s hospice and found another place to set it up.
Look at the similarities.
Bush also intervened in the Schiavo case in a blatantly unconstitutional move. He dragged it out, created a ruckus, was cheered on by the zealots and then backed off when his lawyers ran out of tricks.
He also abused his authority over DCF, using it to raise the specter of abuse against Terri’s husband, Michael. Bush never bothered to talk to Michael, and the abuse allegations were false. Bush had to know because DCF had a file that said as much.
There actually was a third case Bush intervened in last week that got little attention. His lawyers helped a Christian legal group that claimed a woman gave birth to a live baby at an Orlando abortion clinic but the baby was allowed to die.
“Something like this never should have happened,” an “outraged” Bush said through a spokesman.
Something like that never did happen, said the medical examiner who autopsied the fetus.
The fetus was stillborn. Bush should be thankful our editors were a bit more skeptical of the story than he was and played it down.
It seems Bush no longer bothers with facts or laws. He simply governs by divine, if not legal, intervention.