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TX Teen Sues Parents Over Abortion 'Coercion'

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By Deanne Katz, Esq. on February 22, 2013 7:40 AM

A Texas teen who sued her parents for the right not to have an abortion has been granted an injunction that will last for the term of her pregnancy.

The 16-year-old girl is 10 weeks pregnant. She and her boyfriend want to keep the baby and get married. But the girl's parents allegedly wanted her to terminate the pregnancy. The lawsuit claimed they pressured her to get an abortion.

The parents denied the allegations in the lawsuit but just in case, the court granted a long-term injunction based on the girl's claims.

Under the terms of the injunction, the girl is allowed to use her car to get to school, work, and medical appointments, reports CNN. Her parents hadn't allowed that after learning about her pregnancy.

The injunction also requires that her parents pay half of her hospital bills when she gives birth, unless she is married at that point.

The girl was represented by the Texas Center for Defense of Life, a pro-life organization that found legal support in an unlikely place.

The girl's attorney argued that Roe v. Wade gave women the right to choose abortion -- and also the right not to choose it, reports ABC News. The court agreed with that analysis.

It's an interesting point about privacy rights. With the freedom to choose also comes the right to not choose, or rather, to choose something different. This girl's right to choose not to have an abortion shouldn't be any less valid than another person's right to choose one.

The complicating factor was that this girl was a minor. While minors in Texas must generally get permission from a parent or a judge to get an abortion, according to Planned Parenthood, in this case the tables were turned: The parents wanted the abortion and the pregnant child didn't.

The court didn't make a ruling on the issue, but the parties reached an agreement where the girl won't have to worry about a "coerced" abortion. Her right to not have one will be protected.

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