Anti-choice group invokes Roe vs. Wade in lawsuit against pregnant teen's parents
The Texas Center for Defense of Life rode in on its giant white horse earlier this week by filing a lawsuit on behalf of a 16-year-old girl, claiming her parents are trying to coerce her into getting an abortion.
The suit claims that the teenager, who is two months pregnant, has been subject to verbal and physical harassment from her parents, who, according to the teen, don't want her to continue her pregnancy.
On February 12, a temporary restraining order against the girl's parents was granted.
(For what it's worth, the girl's father says the allegations are false and believes that the lawsuit may have been motivated by an outside party.)
Unsurprisingly, I have a problem with this situation.
Actually, I have two problems with this.
Problem the first: this lawsuit is pointless because it's already illegal to force a woman to have an abortion in Texas.
(Abortions done against the will of the mother carry a penalty of up to 10 years in prison—and if you can find a single doctor in Texas who would dare perform an abortion without the pregnant woman's consent, I will eat my shoes.)
In fact, TCDL's Stephen Casey says it all: “We are asking the judge to stop them from physically forcing her to have an abortion. She's legally protected so they cannot drag her to get an abortion and force an abortion on our client.”
Exactly. This woman already cannot be forced to have an abortion by anyone. So what's with the damn lawsuit?
(An overly cynical person might think that an organization like this might be exploiting a teenage girl to further a paternalistic, anti-choice agenda.)
My second problem? The fucking hypocrisy of it all.
With no sense of irony, the press release announcing the suit quotes TCDL president Greg Terra as saying, “Roe v. Wade and the right to choose go both ways."
However, the stated mission of the TCDL is to "aggressively defend the sanctity of human life in Texas and federal courts from conception through natural death," which is in direct opposition to a woman's right to choose.
To sum up: this pro-life anti-choice organization will jump into the fray to protect a woman's right to choose—but only when she's making the choice it wants her to make.
When you're only filing specious lawsuits when a woman makes the choice you support, the activism and concern for life rings false.
(In fact, an overly cynical person might think that an organization like this might be exploiting a teenage girl to further a paternalistic, anti-choice agenda.)
I ask the members of the Texas Center for Defense of Life: if you can support a 16-year-old when she decides to carry a fetus to term, why can't you support her when she decides to have an abortion?
For the record, I completely support this teenager if she wants to carry this pregnancy to term—because that's her choice. Not her parents' choice and certainly not the choice of an opportunist anti-choice organization.