Texas Parents Retreat, Won’t Force Daughter to Have Abortion

State   Steven Ertelt   Oct 29, 2010   |   1:55PM    Austin, TX

The parents of a 16-year-old girl have backed down and are retreating from their attempt to force their daughter to have an abortion.

They signed a court order Wednesday agreeing to not force their daughter to have an abortion against her will after she obtained legal help from the Alliance Defense Fund pro-life legal group.
 
Their decision came a week after ADF’s allied attorneys in Texas secured a temporary restraining order a Texas court to block the parents from making their daughter go to an abortion facility to terminate the life of their pre-born grandchild.
 
The teenager’s mother forcefully brought her on two occasions to local abortion facilities, demanding that her daughter terminate the life of her child. Though she refused, and the child’s father also does not want an abortion, her parents insisted that she have the abortion.
 
The temporary restraining order the court granted last week prevented the parents from coercing their daughter, but now they have signed a long-term court order prohibiting them from forcing their daughter to have an abortion for the duration of her pregnancy.
 
“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life–especially one that belongs to someone else–is worthless,” said Stephen Casey of Round Rock, the attorney helping the unnamed teenager.
 
Gregory R. Terra of Georgetown, the other ADF-allied attorney involved in the case, agreed.
 
“The parents made the right decision, one which they, their daughter, the baby’s father, and especially their grandchild, will appreciate, he said.
 
Casey and Terra, along with Allan E. Parker of The Justice Foundation in San Antonio, secured the parents’ signatures on the latest order before having it signed and validated Thursday by a district judge.
 
The 16-year-old high school student, who is carrying a 14-week-old unborn baby, became more resolute in her decision against having an abortion after she received information from a pro-life prayer worker outside one of the abortion facilities to which her mother took her.
The Justice Foundation’s Center Against Forced Abortion, the two ADF-allied attorneys working with Joe Pojman, Executive Director of  Texas Alliance for Life, and Austin Coalition for Life coordinated efforts on the girl’s behalf to file a motion for a temporary restraining order, which was granted on October 18.
 
“The right not to have an abortion is protected by law, and this right isn’t relinquished just because someone else considers the child to be an unwanted burden,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman. “This situation illustrates what a difference it can make when a woman is more fully informed about the true nature of abortion.”
 
ADF-allied attorneys filed their motion to stop the parents with the District Court of Travis County, which also authorized the order signed by the parents agreeing to stop further attempts to have the preborn child aborted.