Can Parents Force Teen Daughter to Get an Abortion?
A 16-year-old Houston, Texas, girl claims her parents are trying to force her to have an abortion against her will. The teenager is at the center of a lawsuit filed by The Center for Defense of Life that was filed on her behalf against her parents.
The unnamed teen is two months pregnant and asserts her parents were harassing her using verbal and physical threats. In her lawsuit, she states her mother “…invited the paternal grandparents to a bar for further discussion, where she suggested that she might slip [the teen] an abortion pill through deception.” (abclocal.go)
According to KRTK legal analyst, Joel Androphy, the teenager’s parents cannot force the girl to get an abortion. If they did, they would be subject to civil responsibility and could be held criminally liable under fetal homicide laws, “because not only does the minor have a right to be protected, but the fetus does, even under Texas law.” (abclocal.go)
The teen has said that her parents have administered some prosaic punishments for not getting an abortion such as taking her phone, her car, and keeping her from school.
While the outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications, the answer seems fairly straightforward and simple. If the teen does not want to get an abortion and the parents do not want to raise the baby, the girl can leave home. Fairly simple and straightforward solution.
At 16-years of age, the teen has the ability to go to work, start saving money to take care of the child she will have, and become an adult immediately. If not, the father can opt to take care of her and the baby.
If she has determined to keep the baby, she must have some solution worked out, some future in mind for her and her child, other than fairy tales and dreams.
However, as with most cases in our litigious American society, if this young girl were to leave home to have this baby on her own, and walk away from her parents, chances are another lawsuit would follow. Her parents would file a suit for grandparents’ rights; they would demand to see the child on holidays and birthdays, they would wonder why they could not see the little tike, or why little Sally or Sam did not recognize them on Grandparent’s Day.
There will not be any winners in this situation. Family drama, especially when played out in court, is usually not the best path to a successful and happy life. The teen, her parents, and the father of the baby need to determine the best possible outcome for all involved instead of becoming the center of a national debate.