Texas teen spared forced abortion – for two weeks
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, January 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A Texas court has extended a temporary restraining order to prevent a 14-year-old girl from undergoing a forced abortion for at least two more weeks. Another court granted the motion in late December, after the girl’s lawyers say her parents physically assaulted the teenager in an effort to compel her to abort her unborn child.
Her legal counsel sought to have the order extended until the baby’s birth. Instead, on January 4, Judge Missy Medary of the 347th District Court appointed a guardian ad litem, a counselor who will advise the court what he deems to be in the girl’s best interests at a hearing on January 19. The judge will make a final determination at that time.
Stephen Casey, vice president and chief counsel of Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL), and TCDL President Greg Terra are representing the teen.
Casey told LifeSiteNews.com that a forced abortion such as this is “a highly underreported type of situation that pregnancy resource centers experience all the time.”
He and Terra launched their nonprofit shortly after defending a 16-year-old girl, whom Casey says was literally dragged ”across the sidewalk by the belt, leaving her bloody” as she was led to two Austin-area abortion clinics against her will. She won a restraining order from the District Court of Travis County in late 2010.
Since that initial case the two have been contacted by lawyers in Kansas City and Pittsburgh to assist in similar lawsuits.
In another case, eyewitnesses say abortion workers physically prevented a young, black teenager from leaving Affiliated Medical Services, a Milwaukee-area abortion clinic, in November. They estimated the girl was between 11 and 14 years of age.
Casey said pregnancy resource centers regularly tell them, “You were just one abortion appointment too late. The girl didn’t know, and she acquiesced and went through it.”
He predicted the number of cases will surge as women – not just young mothers – learn that they have an alternative. “When you don’t know you have any rights, you just acquiesce and give up without a fight,” he said.
Contrary to media portrayals, retraining orders do not bar all contact between parties in a case such as this; they only prevent parents from forcing their daughters to discuss abortion with them. “We don’t want to destroy families,” Casey said. “We want to protect the rights of these mothers to carry their children to terms. Roe works both ways.”
However, it is not clear the courts will always side with the mother. The Population Research Institute cited a January 2004 court ruling, Jane Roe II vs. Aware Women Center for Choice, Inc., as proof that some judges will allow a forced abortion to continue, if they believe it is necessary to “protect the health of the mother.”
TCDL provides its legal services pro bono throughout the state of Texas. Casey said those outside the state should contact the Alliance Defense Fund.
The firm has been asked to testify about pro-life legislation, defend medical professionals’ conscience rights, and represent pregnancy resource centers. Casey told LifeSiteNews.com that he and Terra hope to dedicate themselves to the cause full-time.
“It’s God call on our lives,” he said.
Texas Center for Defense of Life
501 S. Austin Ave., Suite 1130
Georgetown, TX 78626
Alliance Defense Fund
15100 N. 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260