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Nevada judge claims role in abortion case

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A Nevada state judge says he has the authority to order an abortion for a pregnant 32-year-old mentally disabled woman, even against the will of her Catholic adoptive parents.

Washoe District Court Judge Egan Walker did not make a decision, but asked the Nevada Supreme Court on Monday to let him go ahead with hearings as early as Tuesday to collect medical evidence about the woman’s case.

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Walker called it ‘‘illogical and contrary to law’’ to prevent him from gathering evidence to determine if an abortion should be performed.

In a case being watched by national antiabortion organizations, the woman’s parents want the state high court to stop the proceedings.

The parents argue that as their daughter’s legal guardians, they have exclusive authority over her health care decisions. They cite their religious beliefs and say they want the baby to be born.

The parents say their daughter has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old. She was living at a group home when she became pregnant.

The couple concede that the pregnancy poses health risks to their epileptic daughter and the baby, but they say medical experts back them in their decision to continue the pregnancy.

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