The couple filed a motion asking the Nevada Supreme Court to halt the proceedings by Washoe County District Judge Egan Walker, arguing he lacks authority to make such a decision for their 32-year-old daughter, who has the mental capacity of a 6-year-old.
The couple says they have exclusive authority over their daughter’s health care decisions as her legal guardians, and both they and the woman want to carry the baby to term in line with their Catholic religious beliefs.
The Supreme Court has set a noon Monday deadline for the judge and county officials to respond to the request to halt evidentiary hearings into the woman’s health. The hearings are scheduled to resume Tuesday.
The couple acknowledges the pregnancy poses health risks to their daughter and the baby, but they say medical experts back them in their decision to continue the pregnancy. The woman was living in a Reno group home when she wandered away from it and became pregnant 13 weeks ago. The child’s father has not been identified, said attorney Jason Guinasso, who represents the Nevada couple.
Guinasso said it’s unknown whether the pregnancy resulted from rape or consensual sex, and The Associated Press is not naming the woman or her parents because it remains unclear.
Six couples have expressed an interest in adopting the baby, the woman’s parents said.
At a court hearing Thursday, two medical experts testified that the pregnancy carries risks because the woman has epilepsy and is on medication, but split on whether the pregnancy should be terminated.
Last month, the judge denied the couple’s request to allow the woman to move back home with them and to halt the proceedings.
Deputy District Attorney Dania Reid stressed there has been no motion or discussion to order an abortion in the case.
She noted that Judge Walker appointed the county public guardian’s office as a ‘‘neutral fact-finder’’ to investigate the pregnant woman’s condition in regard to her medical, psychiatric and group home care.