Houston, Texas – A teenage girl in Texas has sued her parents in an effort to stop them from forcing her to have an abortion.
The 16-year-old, who is only cited as R.E.K. in the lawsuit because she is still a minor, is two months pregnant. She asserts that both her mother and father “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.”
“We are asking the judge to stop them from physically forcing her to have an abortion. She is legally protected,” stated Stephen Casey of the Texas Center for the Defense of Life, which is representing R.E.K. “They cannot drag her to get an abortion and force an abortion on our client.”
The lawsuit filed against the parents this month makes a number of allegations regarding the use of pressure and intimidation.
“[The mother] invited the paternal grandparents to a bar for further discussion, where she suggested that she might slip her an abortion pill through deception,” the eight-page legal complaint outlines. “[The father] became extremely angry, was insistent that R.E.K. was not having the baby, and that the decision was not up to her. He stated he was going to take her to have an abortion and that the decision was his, end of story.”
The girl also says that her parents have punished her for not obtaining the abortion by taking away her phone and car, keeping her home from school and forcing her to work two jobs to “make her miserable so that she would give in to the coercion and have the abortion.”
Her attorney states that the girl has text messages to prove the threats, but her father told local television station KTRK that the allegations are false. He contends that someone set up his daughter to sue him and his wife. He has less than 20 days now to file a response to the complaint.
“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.”
A temporary restraining order was recently granted to the 16-year-old by a county judge, but the case is far from over. It is stated that the parents could find themselves in even greater legal trouble if they cause harm to the baby or succeed in having the child aborted against their daughter’s will.
“If the parents force an abortion on a minor, then the parents could not only be subject to civil responsibility, but they could also be criminally liable under our fetal homicide laws,” explained a local legal analyst to ABC News. “Not only does the minor have a right to be protected, but the fetus does even under Texas law.”
Nearly 30 states across the nation have fetal homicide laws on the books, which apply to the unsolicited murder of unborn children, but not to mothers that seek to abort.
A hearing is scheduled for Friday at the Harris County civil courthouse. It is stated that the girl is living apart from her parents at this time.