Sarissa Montague, a criminal defense attorney at Levine & Levine Attorneys At Law, recently won her second Michigan Court of Appeals case where she argued on behalf of a minor seeking a waiver of parental consent for an abortion.
In November, Montague, who won a similar case in the Court of Appeals last year, argued to reverse the decision of a state Family Court, which denied her client’s right to waive parental consent for an abortion. Based on court testimony by a preponderance of evidence, Montague argued that her client, a teenage girl, is sufficiently mature and well-enough informed to make a decision regarding abortion independently of her parents or that it is in her best interest to make this decision independently of her parents.
The Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with Montague’s argument, stating that Montague’s client is sufficiently mature and well enough informed to make a decision about abortion independent of her parents, and that a waiver would be in her best interest. Therefore, the Court of Appeals issued an order that vacates the lower court’s order, and granted Montague’s client the right to petition for waiver of parental consent for an abortion.
“This is an important Michigan Court of Appeals case that institutes the rights of minors seeking legal abortion without parental consent,” Montague said about her latest victory in the Michigan Court of Appeals. “As a criminal defense lawyer, we are called to defend the rights of those who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances. When it comes to controversial topics, such as abortion, we have to see beyond our personal beliefs and experiences, and put those who ask for our help at the forefront and look into what is best for them, including minors.
“There are dangers that minor children face when they are unable to communicate with their biological parents or guardians regarding matters that will affect the rest of their lives,” Montague added. “This is when we, as lawyers and the courts, can and should work together to help these children in their path to a fulfilling life.”