Teenager obtains restraining order against parents forcing her to have an abortion
A 16-year-old expectant mother in Texas has been granted a temporary restraining order against her parents, who she says have been trying to force her to get an abortion against her will. LifeNews lays out the case:
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.
More details of the allegations from the Courthouse News Service:
“R.E.K., plaintiff, is a 16-year-old girl, who is nine (9) weeks pregnant,” the complaint states. “She does not want an abortion but her mother and father are attempting to coerce her to have an abortion.”
R.E.K. says she lived with the baby’s father, her 16-year-old boyfriend, and his parents, for some time “because her mother routinely does not supervise her, frequently spending her evenings at a local bar, and R.E.K. avoided her father’s presence because of his tendency towards physical violence, which she has observed on multiple occasions.
R.E.K. says she told her boyfriend’s mom she might be pregnant on Jan. 18.
“Both plaintiff and the baby’s father, E.L.M., informed her they intended to keep the child and parent the child,” the complaint states. “Upon defendant Denise Koen finding out about the pregnancy, she responded that she would ‘take care of it,’ that it wasn’t R.E.K.’s choice, that the two minor parents had no idea what to do with their lives, and that she would make the decision for them.
“Defendant Denise Koen further stated that she ‘hated to make this decision for her/them but it’s the right thing to do.’”
R.E.K. says her boyfriend’s parents met with her mother to discuss it.
“At that meeting, on 1/20/13, Denise informed them that R.E.K. having the baby was the biggest mistake of her life, that Denise had already had four abortions, and it was the right thing to do in this situation,” the complaint states.
According to the Courthouse News account, the father also allegedly threatened to cut off his pregnant daughter’s health insurance, and threatened to “drag her little ass” out of the house where she was staying, to march her off to the abortion clinic.
A similar case in Corpus Christi last year involved a 14-year-old-girl who got a restraining order against family members she said were trying to coerce her into getting an abortion, including physical abuse. The family said she was “mentally unstable and incapable of caring for a baby.”
The Center for Defense of Life has been representing the pregnant 16-year-old:
“This case stand for the principle that Roe v. Wade and the so-called ‘right to choose’ includes the right to choose life,” said TCDL President Greg Terra.
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.”
The issue of the family’s actual behavior is certainly something to address in court – if they didn’t say or do any of the things the pregnant girl alleges, they should not have to endure slanderous accusations. But the question of the pregnancy itself seems like a pretty clear “pro-choice” issue, in which the parents choose to have the baby.