A teenage Florida victim of incest was forced to travel out of state for an abortion because of her state’s 15-week ban that makes no exceptions for rape or incest, according to Planned Parenthood officials.
The middle school student was refused the procedure in Florida after she was impregnated by a relative, Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida told BuzzFeed.
“The cruelty of forcing a very young person, who has already survived a horrible case of violence, to give birth, it just takes away their rights to bodily autonomy,” said Laura Goodhue, the group’s vice president of public policy. “It is really turning a blind eye to what is happening in our society.”
The unidentified girl had to travel a significant distance to obtain an abortion because Florida and surrounding states have adopted extreme bans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision revoking the constitutional right to abortion.
Alexandra Mandado, president of Planned Parenthood in the region, pointed out at a virtual press conference that children, teens and women often have no idea they’re pregnant before 15 weeks. She told the story of one young patient whose pregnancy symptoms, including fatigue and nausea, were written off by doctors as the effects of long COVID. By the time she came to Planned Parenthood, it was too late to get an abortion in Florida.
The abortion restrictions are particularly devastating in homes riven by domestic violence, including sexual assault, where children and teens are trapped in abusive situations with no one to help them with pregnancy prevention or abortion.
Pregnancy as a “result of violence is not a rare thing,” Dr. Shelly Tien said at the press conference.
“We are seeing this restriction [has] profound and terrible effects for some families in the most desperate of situations,” Tien said.