Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Texas Teen Wins Battle to Keep Her Unborn Baby

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A pregnant Texas teen known only as R.E.K. has won the right to have her baby against her parents’ wishes after suing her parents, who were attempting to force her to have an abortion. R.E.K. filed suit against her parents earlier this month, contending that her parents had been making her life miserable in order to coerce her to have an abortion.

Represented by the Texas Center for Defense of Law, R.E.K. was able to reach an agreement with her parents in court on Monday. According to Fox News, “Under the terms of the agreement, the parents will allow the girl to marry her 16-year old boyfriend.”

R.E.K.’s boyfriend is reportedly relieved that the matter has been settled. "Emotionally and stressful it's been tough," he said. "We've had fights and arguments over all of this and what will happen next because her parents are very unpredictable."

The lawsuit states that her parents removed her from school and forced her to get two jobs “to make her miserable so that she would give in to the coercion and have the abortion.”

R.E.K.’s mother had demanded that the teen begin paying rent.

Meanwhile, R.E.K.'s father, Jeffrey Koen, reportedly drove “menacingly” past the place R.E.K. was residing and “staring threateningly” at the boy's parents. Jeff Koen also texted his daughter that she “needs an a** whoopin’,” and that he needed to show his daughter that he has “the power … and [he] will exercise it.”

In the lawsuit, the teen claimed her mom, Denise, "invited the paternal grandparents to a bar for further discussion, where she suggested that she might slip her an abortion pill through deception." During that meeting, Denise informed the boy's parents that she had undergone four abortions and that it was the proper thing to do.

Jeffrey Koen had threatened to cancel R.E.K.’s health insurance. He also told his daughter that decisions regarding the unborn baby were his, “end of story.”

As it became clear that R.E.K. and the father of the unborn child intended to keep the baby, Denise Koen told the paternal grandparents that “no one should help them with anything and life should be as hard as possible on them now.”

Per Monday’s court agreement, however, the parents agreed to return the teen’s car, pay her cellphone bill, and pay half of her insurance. The judge also ruled that R.E.K. be permitted to go back to school and to her medical appointments.

The teen’s attorney, Stephen Carey, celebrated the court victory, and told, “Right now it’s a victory for life.”

“She wanted to have this child without coercion and she got that,” he added. “And we’re glad that they stood up for the right to life and that they recognized, our client recognized that her child had the right to live and she wanted to protect that.”

And president of the Texas Center for Defense of Life Greg Terra was equally thrilled with the result:

This is a tremendous victory and another life has been saved. Our victory today stands for the principle that 'choice' goes both ways. 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 very proud of our teenage client for being strong enough to stand against her parents to save her unborn child's life.

The case presented a complicated legal matter that ultimately pinned parental rights over an unborn child’s right to life. For pro-life advocates, the choice is simple — to honor the wishes of one’s parents should not include committing sinful endeavors as grave as murder.

This is the fourth lawsuit the Texas Center for Defense of Life has had to file in the state on behalf of teens who were being compelled to have abortions.

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