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Nevada court allows hearings in disabled woman's abortion case

RENO, Nev. The Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled a state judge is allowed to hold hearings in an abortion case surrounding a mentally impaired 32-year-old woman.

The Nevada Supreme Court's unanimous ruling let Washoe County District Judge Egan Walker to resume the hearing on the woman's health on Tuesday morning in Reno.

Walker has said he has the authority to order an abortion for the woman, even against the will of her Catholic parents. He has not yet made a decision in the case, which is being closely watched by national anti-abortion organizations.

The woman's parental guardians asked the court Friday to stop the hearings, saying Walker lacks the authority to terminate their daughter's pregnancy. They want the baby carried to term in line with their religious beliefs.

But the high court says Walker has the authority to monitor the woman's welfare and hold the hearings.

The woman, who has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old, was living in a Reno group home when she became pregnant 13 weeks ago.

A lawyer for the parents, Jason Guinasso, told The Associated Press it's not known whether the pregnancy resulted from rape or consensual sex. The father hasn't been identified, and the circumstances are being investigated by county officials.