A Bristol, Virginia abortion facility and local social worker are accused of coercing a 15-year-old girl into aborting her unborn baby and failing to inform her parents in a new lawsuit.
Prior to the abortion, the girl told her mother that a social worker was pressuring her to have an abortion but promised “that she was not going to abort the baby,” according to the lawsuit, WJHL News reports.
The family is seeking $15.4 million in damages against the Bristol Women’s Health abortion facility and the Dickenson County Department of Social Services for their daughter and aborted grandchild.
Virginia law requires parents to be notified and provide their consent if their daughter is under 18 and wants an abortion. It is not yet known if the abortion facility also is facing an investigation by state authorities for allegedly violating the parental consent law.
Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, told LifeNews that the tragic case shows how important parental involvement is in protecting children.
“What happened in Bristol is further proof that parents should be involved in their child’s life. When the daughter was removed from her parent’s household, she was opened up to manipulation by adults who did not have her interests or best wishes at heart,” Cobb said.
According to the lawsuit, the girl was pregnant “as a result of a conscious choice” and she “intended to take her child to full term,” Townhall reports. At one point, however, the girl told her mother that a social worker was pressuring her to have an abortion contrary to her wishes, the lawsuit states.
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On Jan. 19, social services removed the teenage girl from her father’s home and persuaded her to go to an abortion facility; she was about three months pregnant, the lawsuit continues.
At Bristol Women’s Health, her parents allege the social worker and abortion facility director both worked together to convince their daughter to abort her unborn baby.
The girl, referred to as CRFM, “remained upset throughout the process, and initially refused to cooperate with any abortion,” the lawsuit states. Eventually, however, the young teen “was persuaded to abort her baby” and given abortion pills, the case continues.
The lawsuit also accuses social services and the abortion facility of violating the parents’ rights by neglecting to notify them or obtain their consent.
Here’s more from WJHL:
Neither CRFM’s parents nor her guardian ad litem [lawyer] was informed of the abortion by DSS and the agency didn’t provide medical records of it to her parents “despite multiple written requests,” the suit alleges. …
The suit alleges a host of potential negative physical and emotional effects on CRFM. It claims the actions of DSS, the clinic and the people involved interfered with her parents’ rights by not involving them in the decision, not informing them of the abortion and denying access to medical records.
“It’s just shocking that it happened,” the family’s lawyer Tim McAfee told News Channel 11. “The young lady has killed her baby. That’s how she looks at it.”
However, the abortion facility owner, Diane Deriz, insisted that they did not do anything wrong.
“We have never and never would pressure someone to have an abortion,” Deriz told the local news. “I am confident that all the paperwork was done according to state law.”
The abortion facility, which recently moved from Tennessee, also is facing a second unrelated lawsuit from its landlords.
In December, Bristol landlords Chase King and Chadwick King said Bristol Women’s Health deceived them about how it planned to use their rental property, claiming it would be a “general family practice.” Not until after the lease was signed did the Kings learn that it was an abortion business, according to their lawsuit.
Bristol is located on the border of Tennessee and Virginia. When Roe v. Wade fell and Tennessee began protecting unborn babies from abortions, the abortion facility moved across the state border to Virginia where aborting unborn babies is still legal.
The case highlights problems with enforcing current parental involvement laws.
Eileen Roberts, the head of Parents For Life, knew for many years, that the Parental Consent Law in Virginia was not being enforced, since it’s passage in 2010.
“Parents For Life, knew all along, our daughters were not being protected and parental rights were being denied,” she told LifeNews.
“This is a story I know too well,” she added. “My parental rights were denied when my daughter was able to obtain an abortion at age 14, in Virginia, skipping school without my knowledge or consent. Ironically, I had to sign a consent form for the care she needed for medical complications of the abortion; a procedure I had no right to know about. And now with the increase of telemedicine appointments, our minor aged daughters are obtaining the abortion pill, mailed discretely, without parental knowledge or consent.”