Texas Teen Wins Right to Give Birth Over Parents' Objections
A pregnant teen who sued her parents, claiming they were coercing her to have an abortion, will be able to give birth to her baby.
Attorneys representing the 16-year-old girl were granted a long-term injunction against the girl's parents in Texas family court on Monday, according to court documents.
The teen is 10 weeks pregnant and the injunction will last for the duration of her pregnancy.
As part of the order, the girl will be able to use her car to go to school, work and medical appointments. Her parents had taken away the use of the car as part of their effort to force an abortion, court papers stated.
The teen's parents will be liable for half of the hospital bill when she gives birth, unless she is married to the baby's 16-year-old father.
"We are extremely happy with the judge's decision today and we are very proud of our teenage client for being strong enough to stand against her parents to save her unborn child's life," Greg Terra, president of the Texas Center for Defense of Life, said in a blog post on the group's website.
Attorneys filed a lawsuit on the teen's behalf earlier this month arguing that her parents "are violating her federal constitutional rights to carry her child to term by coercing her to have an abortion with both verbal and physical threats and harassment."
The teen, identified in the lawsuit only as R.E.K. since she is a minor, was "beside herself" when she called the center for help, her lawyer Stephen Casey told ABCNews.com last week. The group claims it has previously represented teens in similar situations and won their cases.
"These girls are in a bind, particularly in a situation where their parents are forcing them to do something they don't want to do," Casey said. "Regardless of the [situation], that's her parents and she should expect support from them in this situation, not resentment and anger."
When the pregnancy was confirmed, the teenager's father allegedly "became extremely angry, was insistent that R.E.K. was not having the baby, and that the decision was not up to her, according to the lawsuit. He stated he was going to take her to have an abortion and that the decision was his, end of story."
The teen claimed in the lawsuit that her parents had taken away her phone, pulled her out of school, forced her to get two jobs and took away her car in an effort to "make her miserable so that she would give in to the coercion and have the abortion."'