Expectant mothers and fathers who are not yet 18 years old can find themselves in a gray area of family law. Technically, these parents are not yet considered adults, but they still have parental rights.
An instance such as this is playing out in Texas where a 16-year-old girl claims her parents are ordering her to have an abortion instead of carrying her baby to full term. The girl, who is nine weeks pregnant, earned the assistance of the Texas Center for Defense of Life, which has filed a lawsuit against the parents on the girl’s behalf.
The legal complaint stated that the girl’s parents have threatened her both verbally and physically in an effort to get her to abort the pregnancy. A lawyer for the center pointed out that the girl has the right under the federal constitution to move forward with the pregnancy. The Texas Center for Defense of Life has actually aided fellow teens who have faced the same situation in the past.
Reports claim that the girl’s father was infuriated when he learned of the pregnancy. He said that the decision to abort or move forward with the pregnancy was not hers and that he was going to take her to have an abortion.
Reports also stated that the girl’s parents have made her life agonizing by taking away her access to a vehicle, removing her from school, forcing her to work multiple jobs and confiscating her phone. One especially startling revelation stated that the girl’s mother tempted the idea of slipping her an abortion pill without the girl knowing. Some forms of evidence in the case come in the form of hostile text messages directed at the girl.
Parenting a child at such a young age can be difficult on its own. Doing it without the support of loved ones can make it even tougher. The lawsuit can establish the girl’s parental rights, reaffirming the fact that she has the right to make a decision about the baby’s fate.
Source: ABC News, “Texas Teen Sues Parents Over Abortion Fight,” Christina Ng, Feb. 12, 2013