FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Was an inmate at the Lauderdale County Detention Center pressured into changing her mind about terminating her pregnancy?
On Wednesday, the inmate filed an affidavit in federal court reversing her July 20th petition requesting to have an abortion.
Covered by a blanket, Jane Doe was escorted by deputies into the Federal Court House in Florence Friday morning.
U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon ordered a hearing to speak with Doe about her decision to keep the fetus full term.
Attorneys for the ACLU who represented Doe during her lawsuit had said they felt she was under undue pressure to keep the child. Sheriff Rick Singleton said that was simply not the case.
“The first face to face contact I’ve had with her was just a few minutes ago in the courtroom,” stated Singleton. “So no, I don’t think she was under any kind of pressure at all.”
After meeting behind closed doors, Judge Kallon asked Doe in open court if she was pressured.
She simply answered “No sir.”
Judge Kallon then granted her request to dismiss the civil rights lawsuit against Sheriff Singleton.
Singleton said afterwards his department will continue with its policy of getting a court order to have any elective medical procedure performed.
“We contend that it is based on decisions in other circuits,” Singleton explained. “We understand there are conflicting decisions, but we feel like in this particular case that our policy would stand.”
Singleton said this was the first time in Lauderdale County history an inmate has sued the county in federal court to get an abortion performed.
As far as the state’s case to have Jane Doe’s parental rights revoked, Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connolly states they will drop that case.
He said after Doe decided to keep the fetus, an agreement was reached with Doe to participate in a safety plan to guard the welfare of the fetus.