By Melissa Clement, President, Nevada Right to Life
Nearly two years after the Washoe County Family Court case that shocked the nation, Cierra Marie, a little girl, whose life was threatened by a potential court ordered abortion, has a forever home.
This past Friday the long process ended with a happy ending. Bill and Amy Bauer adopted their beautiful granddaughter in the same court where once her life was threatened.
In the Fall of 2012, Bill and Amy were summoned to a Washoe County Court, forced to justify their faith and their respect for life. They were challenged to explain what they were going to do about their mentally challenged daughter’s pregnancy at the hands of an unknown sexual predator.
Asked why they intended to support their daughter’s pregnancy, they said that their faith told them that all human life was valuable and that they intended to help her despite her circumstances as long as the child was not a threat to their daughter’s life. The judge set into motion a series of hearings that seemingly could only end in the loss of an innocent human life at the hands of the state.
The Bauers’ attorney, Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jason Guinasso, says the court then “responded to them by stating their faith had no relevance to the decision that had to be made regarding carrying the pregnancy to term or not. Further, the Court set up a series of hearings over the course of 40 days to consider whether to force Bill and Amy’s daughter to have an abortion. Indeed, the doctor summoned by the Court stated at one of the hearings that the only compassionate thing to do was to sterilize the Bauers’ daughter and abort the baby.”
However, thanks to the work of countless people across the country and led by Guinasso, the court and the county, against all odds, changed direction and agreed to support this woman and her unborn baby.
This case was a victory for American families. If the court had ordered an abortion, it would have sent a clear and unmistakable message that courts can intervene in family matters to order an abortion against the family’s wishes.
This case also revealed a clear and present danger to families that that courts could trample on their religious beliefs.
Not only pro-life supporters felt threatened. Many who consider themselves pro-choice recognized the threat to family autonomy, “choice” and religious liberty.
This truly was a bridge too far and fortunately the Court recognized it as such. As bioethicist, Wesley Smith noted
“If a court orders an abortion opposed by the parents/guardians of this woman, and the woman herself (who is not capable of informed consent)-absent clear and convincing evidence that the pregnancy poses a substantial risk to the woman’s life… we will have entered territory once inhabited exclusively by China.”