Texas teen sues parents to stop coerced abortion
The girl, 16, who is two months pregnant, claims that her parents have taken her phone and her car and have kept her home from school as punishment for not aborting. She also claims that her parents and grandparents conspired to slip her an abortion drug.
A judge has granted a temporary restraining order against the parents until the case is heard.
The next hearing is scheduled for Monday.
“Roe v. Wade and the right to choose go both ways,” said Greg Terra, the President of the Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL), whose firm is representing the teen.
Terra said the Supreme Court has clearly found that a “girl has the absolute legal right to make her reproductive choices. This includes the choice not to have an abortion, even against the strong coercion of her parents. If the girl lives in Texas and chooses life, then we will stand with her in court in support of that choice.”
Stephen Casey, the Chief Counsel of the TCDL, told LifeSiteNews.com that while the situation has been “stressful” for the girl, “she’s hopeful that the court will uphold her rights.”
“Our goal is not to separate dad, mom and daughter,” he said. “Our goal is that they would recognize that this is their grandchild and this is their daughter. “
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According to the lawsuit, upon being told about the pregnancy, the girl’s mother responded that she would “take care of it,” while her father became “extremely angry” and said that “the decision was not up to her.”
"Effectively, both parents who are responsible for caring for her have made her choose between them taking care of her or having an abortion," says the lawsuit.
According to Casey, such cases are far more common than people realize. “It’s highly underreported,” he said. “Girls feel that they have no option.”
“We think of 55 million abortions since Roe,” he added. “What percentage of those women, if they knew that there were people that would protect their rights and walk with them through their pregnancy, would have had their child?”
Texas Right to Life linked the case to The Unborn Victims of Violence Act. The Act was passed after Laci Peterson, then eight months pregnant with her son Conner, was murdered by her husband in California in 2002. It criminalizes the murder of a wanted unborn child.
“No one should force a woman to kill her unborn child,” said Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life.
According to a statement from Texas Right to Life, while the law clearly says that consent is necessary for an abortion, the issue often becomes “murky” when it involves minor teens.
“Most pregnant teens are unaware of their rights and feel that they must comply with the wishes of their parents or boyfriends,” said the organization.
The pro-life group said that part of the solution is that audits and inspections of abortion clinics must become more stringent, to ensure that they are complying with consent laws.
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