A pregnant teen in Corpus Christi, Texas has gone to court to prevent her family from forcing her to have an abortion. The 14-year-old girl, who chooses to remain anonymous, reportedly lived with her adult cousins who she says prevented her from going to school and threatened to beat her up.
“One family member threw her into the car on her stomach, and said: ‘I’m going to beat you until you decide otherwise’,” her lawyer Stephen Casey tells ABC News.
UPDATE – According to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times the girl “accused a cousin of physically assaulting her by grabbing her by the neck, hitting her across the jaw and threatening to beat her if she didn’t get an abortion.”
The girl’s case was heard by State District Judge Missy Medary, who appointed a guardian for her while also passing two temporary injunctions that prevents her family from interfering with her decision to give birth or not. The injunctions are only through January 19, though, when the girl will go to court once more in an attempt to have them extended to cover the entire course of her pregnancy. (She is currently ten weeks along.)
“It’s not the first case in Texas and these cases are very very under reported,” her attorney says. “Girls go through these situations they don’t feel like they have a representative or an advocate and that’s what TCDL [Center for Defense of Life] does, is we let them know they’re not alone. And they have a constitutional right to carry their child and protect their child.”
“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,” says attorney Greg Terra.
Meanwhile, the girl’s grandmother, Carmen Pantoja, is denying claims that the family threatened her. “I advised her to have it. That’s not the same as forcing her,” Pantoja told ABC News, “If I had forced her, I would have paid for it and I didn’t pay for nothing. Nobody forced her do anything.”
The girl, a freshman in high school at the time, reportedly contacted the Texas Center for the Defense of Life secretly via text message a few weeks ago when she was seven weeks pregnant. She is currently living with the family of the baby’s father, who also supports her decision to carry the baby to term.
“There’s a possibility of putting the child up for adoption,” Casey said, explaining that the boy’s family is “committed to helping her through her decision, whatever that decision is.”