Monday Hearing Determines if Parents Can Force Teen’s Abortion

State   Steven Ertelt   Feb 15, 2013   |   6:02PM    Houston, TX

A judge will hold a hearing Monday to determine if a teen from Texas can be pressured by her parents to have an abortion. The judge issued a temporary retaining order this week in the case, which continues in the courtroom next week, following the teen’s decision to sue her parents.

Attorneys with The Center for Defense of Life have filed suit on behalf of the 16-year-old expectant mom who says her parents are trying to force her to have an abortion of a baby she wants to keep. The teenager is two months pregnant and asking a judge to stop her parents from making her have an abortion by coercing her with verbal and physical threats and by harassment.

On Wednesday, the pro-life attorneys representing her obtained a temporary restraining order from the 215th District Court of Harris County, Texas. This court order prohibits the parents of their 16-year-old client from coercing her to have an abortion against her will. The pro-life law firm also received notice that the case has been transferred to the 308th Family District Court of Harris County, Texas. As a result, a hearing slated for this week has been postponed to Monday.

“The hearing originally scheduled for this afternoon regarding our request for a long-term injunction to protect our 16-year-old client who is being coerced to have an abortion against her will has been rescheduled to: Monday, Jan. 18th, at 2:00 PM in the 308th Family District Court of Harris County, Texas,” TCDL President Greg Terra told LifeNews late Friday.

Terra is requesting that the identity of the teenager and her picture remain confidential.

“This case stands for the principle that Roe v. Wade and the so-called ‘right to choose’ includes the right to choose life,” he says.

He told LifeNews, “the United States Supreme Court in Bellotti v. Baird (443 U.S. 622, 1979) held that a teenage girl has the absolute legal right to make her own reproductive choices, including the right to not to have an abortion, regardless of what her parents want her to do; so if a Texas teenage girl chooses life we will stand with her in court in support of that choice.”

“No one should be allowed to decide that an innocent life–especially one that belongs to someone else–is worthless. The right not to have an abortion is protected by law, and this right is not relinquished just because someone else considers the child to be an unwanted burden,” added TCDL Chief Counsel Stephen Casey.

In the lawsuit, the teen claims her mom “…invited the paternal grandparents to a bar for further discussion, where she suggested that she might slip [the teen] an abortion pill through deception.”

On a different occasion, the pregnant teen claims her dad told her “he was going to take her to have an abortion and that the decision was his, end of story.” The girl claims her parents already removed her phone, kept her from school and took her car as punishment for failing to get an abortion.

The father claims the claims are false and says he thinks someone put the teenager up to the lawsuit.

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This isn’t the first time a Texas teenager fought her parents over pressure to have an abortion.

Last year, a 14-year-old girl in Corpus Christi, TX, received a temporary restraining order to stop her family from forcing her to get an abortion. A state district judge appointed an attorney for the teen and extended the restraining order.

Stephen Casey said family members who appeared in court told the judge the teenage girl was mentally unstable and incapable of caring for a baby.

Casey claims the girl’s cousin is guilty of ”assaulting her by grabbing her by the neck, hitting her across the jaw and threatening to beat her if she did not get an abortion.”