A Corpus Christi teen goes to court to stop her family from forcing her to have an abortion. It's a case that's gotten the attention of a Texas pro-life group that provides legal help in cases like this. The young girl is 14 years old and about 2 months pregnant.
She sought out help after members of her family allegedly tried to force her to have an abortion last month. In one instance according to court documents, she was physically assaulted by a family member. In December one district judge granted a temporary restraining order. Wednesday, back in court, the girls attorneys had hoped to get that TRO extended through her pregnancy. But that didn't happen.
"It's not the first case in Texas and these cases are very very under reported. Girls go through these situations they don't feel like they have a representative or an advocate and that's what TCDL does, is we let them know they're not alone. And they have a constitutional right to carry their child and protect their child," Stephen Casey and attorney with the Texas Center for Defense of Life.
Casey is with TCDL, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to pro-life organizations and residents in Texas. During the 15 minute long hearing Wednesday, the girl's lawyers asked 347th District Court Judge Missy Medary to extend the TRO till the girl has the baby. The judge denied the request, however she did extend it for 15 days and appointed a guardian ad litem, a family attorney, to help her make decisions in her best interest. To the girls defense team, Wednesday's decision was a small victory.
"This case is about a woman's or girls teenagers fundamental rights to choose. And the Roe V. Wade decision goes both ways. In the State of Texas a teenage girl can get a judicial bypass without parental consent or notification this case is about the fact that that goes both ways so if the teen age girl wants to carry the child to term she has a fundamental constitutional right to do that," said Attorney Greg Terra.
Again a hearing is set for the January 19 when Judge Medary will decide whether to continue to enforce the temporary restraining order or withdraw it. In the meantime, the TRO prohibits the family members of the girl not to coerce, threaten or try to convince the girl into having an abortion.
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