(Photo: Reuters/Joshua Lott)
A pregnant teenager will be able to have her baby after reaching a legal agreement with her parents, who she sued for allegedly trying to force her to have an abortion.
The agreement, as written in the final order signed Monday by Judge James Lombardino of the 308th Family Court in Harris County, Texas, says the parents of the 16-year-old Houston girl may not in any way attempt to coerce her into having an abortion.
Greg Terra, president of the Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL), the organization that represented the teen, called the resolution of the case a "tremendous victory" in a statement.
"Our victory today stands for the principle that 'choice' goes both ways," said Terra. "Under Roe v. Wade and post-Roe cases, a teenage girl has the absolute legal right to choose life, even over the strong objections, pressure, and punishments of her parents. We are extremely happy with the judge's decision today and we are very proud of our teenage client for being strong enough to stand against her parents to save her unborn child's life."
Stephen Casey, chief counsel for TCDL, told The Christian Post on Tuesday that the pregnant teen believes life begins at conception.
"The people who should be walking with her through this wanted her to abort her child, and that does not resolve the issue," said Casey. "We need to respect life the way life comes about and whatever life is here, we don't eliminate it and kill a baby and traumatize a mother for the rest of her life out of convenience."
As part of the agreement, the teen's parents have given her consent to marry 16-year-old Evan Madison, the biological father of her unborn child. It also states, among other things, that her parents will pay half of the health insurance deductible and half of the unreimbursed medical expenses related to the pregnancy if she and Madison are not married by the time of the child's birth.
"Emotionally and stressful it's been tough," Madison told MyFoxHouston.com. "We've had fights and arguments over all of this and what will happen next because her parents are very unpredictable."
The expectant mother's parents verbally pressured her to get an abortion, according to court documents, and allegedly said she had no choice in the matter.
Her mother also allegedly threatened to slip her the abortion pill, and the girl, Madison and his parents felt physically threatened by her father over the issue.
The Christian Post was unable to reach George Clifton, attorney for the girl's parents, for comment before publication time.