QUOTE(hayleyanne @ May 19 2005, 12:38 PM)
The “maturity” factor was not the only element considered by the court. Doe had to establish both that she was mature AND sufficiently well informed. The lower court held that she did not meet this standard. The appellate court agreed. The explicit findings related only to the “sufficiently well informed” prong.
Exactly, the trial court only found that Doe was not "sufficiently well informed", and the trial court felt that was all that was necessary to hold that she did not meet the first standard. There were no findings on her maturity. The Legislation states that if there isn't a timely finding, the person seeking the exception is given the benefit of the doubt.
The "activism" came in the majority opinion, not in Owen's dissent. They broke the established standard of review when they disturbed the trial court's findings on the "sufficiently well informed" prong. Owen called them out on this and respected established precedent. It is unfair to say that her opinion was "activism" when it was the reverse.
Would you like an example of Owen's activism in this case? Here:
This is what the court found regarding whether Doe was aware of the emotional and psychological aspects of undergoing an abortion:
Doe also conclusively established that "she is . . . aware of the emotional and psychological aspects of undergoing an abortion." In re Jane Doe 1(I), __ S.W.3d at __. Doe spoke to an older relative and another minor about their abortion decisions and how they felt about them. After this, Doe discussed the emotional effects of abortion with the organization's counselor, who also gave Doe written materials about the emotional consequences of abortion. Doe read these materials several times. Although she did not discuss the emotional consequences of abortion with anyone opposed to abortion, she was not required to do so. See id. at __.
Doe testified that, after consulting these sources, she understood that many women experience guilt after an abortion and some women experience depression, but that abortion also provided many women with a feeling of relief. Doe did not merely consider these emotional consequences in the abstract; she carefully considered how each of these alternatives would affect her emotionally. She reasoned that all of her choices would involve guilt, but that she felt most comfortable with the decision to have an abortion.
Doe also indicated that she understood the gravity of her decision. She considered how abortion would affect her emotionally in light of its serious consequences. Doe asked to see the fetus on the ultrasound video, testifying that she considered it her responsibility to do so. Doe also testified that she understood and considered the fetus's development. Doe understood that her decision to terminate her pregnancy was irrevocable, and consequently recognized the seriousness of her decision. She also considered an abortion's effects on her spiritual well-being and concluded, based on her personal spiritual beliefs, that it would not have an adverse effect.
Owen's activism is apparent in the standard she would like a minor held to regarding this condition. This is the reason why Owen feels that Doe was not "aware of the emotional and psychological aspects of undergoing an abortion":
...the record indicates that Doe did not seek advice or counseling from anyone who was inclined to thoroughly explore with her the adverse emotional and psychological impact that an abortion may have. Doe affirmatively avoided counseling from any source who might cause her to seriously examine her decision in a meaningful way, as notifying one of her parents may have caused her to do.
This is part of what Owen would consider when analyzing whether a minor is "aware of the emotional and psychological aspects of undergoing an abortion." What does Owen mean by "meaningful way?" Is Doe's description of the emotional and psychological aspects somehow void of meaning? It sounds like Owen feels it is necessary to have someone attempt to talk you out of an abortion before you can be eligible for exemption from parental notification. And there is no requirement for Doe to thoroughly "explore the adverse emotional and psychological impact an abortion may have", only that she is aware of these aspects of undergoing an abortion. It seems, based on her testimony that she was. That doesn't appear to be good enough for Owen, who would hold Doe to a higher standard than the statute. That is activism. It is apparent, from the statement above, that Owen feels that minors should notify their parents before seeking an abortion. And that's fine, but Owen shouldn't be influenced by her personal beliefs to hold Doe to a higher standard than is intended by the statute.
The reason the majority overturned the trial court's decision regarding the "well-informed prong" was that the trial court (and the court of appeals) was wrong in its analysis of Doe's considerations regarding alternatives to abortion... it seems that the trial court and the court of appeals held that because the court did not agree with the outcome of Doe's consideration of alternatives to abortion, she must not have sufficiently considered them.