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Controversial Pregnancy Case Continues

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A controversial case surrounding a woman with disabilities continued at the Washoe County Courthouse Thursday night.

32-year-old Elisa Bauer suffers from severe mental and physical disabilities, with a reported mental capacity of a 6-year-old. She's also 12 weeks pregnant.

The Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada now must decide what the future of that unborn child will be.

On one hand, you have folks who think Elisa should have the right to keep the baby if she wants to, but what the court needs to determine is if Elisa has the mental capabilities to even make that decision on her own.

Washoe County representatives say they're still finding out who impregnated Elisa. Her physician told county officials that Elisa often disappeared and prostituted herself.

But, the attorney for Elisa's parents, who are also her guardians, says she wants this baby.

"My biggest fear is we get to the conclusion and the judge says, the judge says 'terminate this baby,'" says Jason Guinasso.

The judge asked the Washoe County Public Guardian's Office to investigate the case.

"There are questions about what she can and can't understand about this pregnancy and what that means to her," says Dania Reid, Deputy District Attorney with Washoe County. 

Reid wants to be clear, the county has no say in what the final outcome will be in this situation.

"Washoe County does not, has not, and will not be asked to prove any opinion or recommendation on whether or not Ms. Bauer should or should not have an abortion," she says.

This situation is, to put it simply, very complicated. Elisa's parents have to file an annual report on her condition, something they did not do last year.

That means the court has jurisdiction over Elisa during the guardianship case. Guinasso says even though she is epileptic, right now, she is healthy enough to have a baby.

"Right now, she's healthy," he says. "She hasn't had a seizure in four years and as long as she continues to be healthy, that's their position and it's in her best interest to carry the baby to term."

Our cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom, but inside, were medical professionals who also examined the case. Two doctors, with two different opinions.

One says Elisa can safely have the baby, while the other suggests she has an abortion. The court will review all the evidence, and a decision will eventually be made.

No decision was made Thursday night. The case will continue on Tuesday morning.

Written by Adam Rasmussen

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