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Court allows hearings in Nevada abortion case

Associated Press Modified: November 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: November 6, 2012

The Nevada couple said that while the pregnancy poses health risks to their daughter and the baby, medical experts back them in their decision to continue the pregnancy. The woman suffers from epilepsy and is on medication.

The woman was living in a Reno group home when she wandered away from it and became pregnant 13 weeks ago. The child's father has not been identified, and it's unknown whether the pregnancy resulted from rape or consensual sex, according to court documents. The Associated Press is not naming the woman or her parents because those circumstances remain unclear.

The Fernley couple adopted the woman and several siblings from Costa Rica in 1992, and they were appointed as her legal guardians when she turned 18. She suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome.

The guardians say various attempts to confine the woman to the group home were unsuccessful, and six couples have expressed an interest in adopting the baby.

The court intervened in the case in late September when county social services officials sent a report noting the woman was seven weeks pregnant and that her physicians had concerns regarding the effects of her medication on the pregnancy.

Walker appointed the county public guardian's office as a "neutral fact-finder" to investigate the woman's condition in regard to her medical, psychiatric and group home care.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Right to Life organization strongly supports the guardians' position, said spokeswoman Olivia Gans Turner.

"The fact their daughter is not as mentally mature shouldn't take away her right to have a child," she said.