A 16-year-old Texas girl won a court victory Monday following a settlement with her parents that will allow her to carry her unborn child to term, rather than have an abortion as her parents had wished.
According to CNN
, the minor, identified in Harris County Family Court documents only as R.E.K., sued her parents to stop them from forcing her to terminate her pregnancy, which is currently at 10 weeks. The teen's parents are divorced and she currently lives with her mother.
As part of the settlement filed Monday, the parents agreed as well not to use “physical or psychological coercion” toward the girl in an effort to force her to have an abortion. They also agreed to allow her to marry Evan Madison, the child’s father, who is also 16. Madison was not named in court documents, but has done media interviews in conjunction with the case.
The teen mother was represented by the Texas Center for Defense of Life, whose president called the settlement “a tremendous victory.”
“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,” said center president Greg Terra, who also served as one of the girl’s attorneys.
“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.”
The settlement also covers a variety of other issues and stipulates how payments for transportation, insurance and other matters will be handled. In addition, both parties agree not to file any lawsuits alleging slander, libel or defamation.
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