Trial Begins in Suit Against Abortion Facility for Teen’s Illegal Abortion
by Maria Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
April 13, 2004
Houston, TX (LifeNews.com) — A young Houston woman broke down in tears as she told a jury Monday how her unborn child was aborted.
Cherise Mosley Hughes and her father, Fredrick Mosley, are suing a southwest Houston abortion center for performing the abortion in violation of Texas’ 1999 parental notification law. Under the law, parents of a teenage girl must be notified 48 hours before an abortion takes place.
Hughes said her father would have provided the support necessary to help her give birth to the baby — if only he’d known she was pregnant.
“He would have shown me how to take care of the child," Hughes said during questioning by her attorney, Jared Woodfill.
"I think about the baby every day. My (other two children) could have had another brother or sister; don’t even know which it was,” Hughes added.
Lawyers for the Aaron Family Planning Clinic abortion business and abortionist Douglas Karpen are trying to claim that the abortion center is not liable because Hughes presented a fake ID at the time of the abortion.
Hughes and her father say the abortion center’s workers should have realized that she was a minor at the time the abortion was performed in 2000. If the staff or the abortionist had simply questioned the ID, they would have found out that Hughes was under age.
Both father and daughter have testified that, had Mosley been notified about the abortion, it would never have occurred. Mosley, who is a Pentecostal minister, has said he would have reassured his daughter that he loved her and would have recommended that she keep the baby.
In her opening statement, defense lawyer Barbara Hachenburg placed the entire blame for the abortion on Hughes’ shoulders.
“We wouldn’t be here today if this lady, who was almost an adult, (had not) perpetrated a crime on this clinic. Cherise Mosley (Hughes) got away with fraud. But please, don’t let her profit from it.”
Hachenburg also told KTRK-TV, “The main issue in this case is that this girl committed a fraud and she knew exactly what she was doing and so any emotional trauma she had was brought on by herself.”
But Hughes’ supporters note that she herself was a victim of the abortion industry, which exploits women for profit. By performing an abortion on Hughes, Karpen put her at risk for a host of physical and psychological problems–without taking the time to inform her father.
“We believe that it’s important public policy for a doctor in the abortion industry, if you’re going to perform a major surgical procedure on a minor, a child, that can result in death, to ask questions," her lawyer, Jared Woodfill, told Houston television station KPRC.
Hughes was seven weeks away from her 18th birthday when the abortion was performed. At the time, the father of the child, Reynaldo Hughes, wanted her to have an abortion and assisted her in obtaining the fake ID from a supermarket. She is now married to the child’s father and has had two other children by him.
Both Hughes and Mosley continue to grieve for the child who was lost to abortion.
"Many times I didn’t sleep because I was behind closed doors doing my own grieving," Mosley said. "August was the anniversary of the death of my first wife (Hughes’ mother), and now August is the anniversary of the death of my first grandchild."
A number of states now have parental notice or consent laws on the books. Polls show that parental involvement laws are supported by a majority of Americans, yet the abortion industry continues to fight them.
The abortion lobby claims such laws interfere with a “woman’s constitutional right to abortion” and that they can lead to parental abuse of pregnant teenagers.
But supporters of the laws say they are a means of protecting parental rights. They note that teenagers routinely need parental permission for all sorts of activities — from class field trips to ear piercings — and that parents have a right to be informed if their minor child seeks an abortion.
Backers of parental notice laws say they also help to open up the lines of communication between parent and teenager, preserving the parent-child relationship.