A Michigan woman won a five-year legal battle for the right to see her court file regarding a request that she had made when she was 15 to a court judge for an abortion.
FG was suffering from a mental illness that required her to take prescribed medication when she found out she was pregnant. She was 15 years old at the time, and instead of informing her parents about the pregnancy, she went to a Washtenaw County Probate Court Judge for a judicial bypass to get an abortion.
In February 2000, a few years after her abortion, FG, through the Thomas More Law Center, requested to see her court file. She wanted to learn whether the probate court had been informed about her mental condition and whether she actually agreed to the judicial bypass and to the abortion. She also wanted to learn if any of her rights had been violated. Because of her medical condition, FG claims she only had a vague memory of what had taken place during the probate court proceeding.
A Washtenaw County Probate Judge denied her request. However, after a series of appeals lasting five years, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 23 that FG had a right to see her file.
Edward L. White III, a Law Center attorney, said the ruling sets an important precedent for future cases dealing with judicial bypass proceedings.