Anti-Choice Group Invokes Roe V. Wade To Defend 14 Year Old’s Right to Be Pregnant

Anti-choice activists have been working hard across the country to pass parental permission and notification laws for pregnant teens seeking abortions, including tightening up teen’s abilities to use judicial bypass to obtain an abortion without informing their parents.

So it’s not very often that you hear a “pro-life” legal team arguing about a teen’s reproductive choice mattering more than what her parents think.  Or using Roe v. Wade as an argument in their arsenal.

But that’s what is happening in Texas, where a 14-year-old girl is seeking a long term restraining order against her parents, who want her to have an abortion.  The teen, as well as her boyfriend and her boyfriend’s mother, want her to continue the pregnancy and have the baby.  And the Texas Center for Defense of Life is helping the teen to try and make that happen.

Of course, no one who supports reproductive rights believes that a pregnant woman or even girl should be forced to either bear an unwanted pregnancy or be forced to have a termination against her will, and the use of any sort of violence, physical or emotional, in an attempt to coerce someone out of her own choice is always wrong.

But there’s still a moment of irony when a TCDL attorney declares, “This case is about a woman’s or girls teenagers fundamental rights to choose.  And the Roe V. Wade decision goes both ways.  In the State of Texas a teenage girl can get a judicial bypass without parental consent or notification this case is about the fact that that goes both ways so if the teen age girl wants to carry the child to term she has a fundamental constitutional right to do that.”

A teen has the right to choose on her own, but only if she chooses to carry the baby to term.  If the choice was to terminate against her parents’ will, you can expect that no one from TCDL would be invoking Roe V. Wade in her defense, then.  That would be when they explain that a 14-year-old girl is too young to know what the mental and physical repercussions of having an abortion could have on her long term, and that parents have a right to control the physical health of their children.

In Texas, a minor’s parent must be notified 48 hours before a teen can have an abortion and at least one parent must provide consent.  This is on top of the 24 hour wait that every woman must undergo before the procedure, as well.  As part of the process for judicial bypass, you must file forms with an “adoption clerk” and add in at least one day, if not more, to meet with a judge.  The just also may delay his or her ruling.  All of these steps were put in place to ensure that access to an abortion for teens are onerous, if not utterly impossible.  But if she wants to continue the pregnancy, all she has to do is ask an anti-abortion activist to help out, and suddenly they are all about her right to choose.



Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Jerrie D.
Jerrie D.3 years ago

19 years ago, my then my 16 year old nephew impregnated his 14 year old girlfriend during a party. Their daughter spent two years in the neo-natal unit of a Wichita, KS hospital which cost the Medacaid program hundreds of thousands of dollars. The infant nearly died over a dozen times during that two years, as well. And why? Because the body of a fourteen year old girl has not matured enough internally to successfully carry a child to term, and if the infant is born, there is a 99.1% that the child will have serious physcal disabilities or Cerebral Palsy. Once again because the uterus, hormonal levels, etc. are not fully developed.

In addition, my neicies mother was unable to bear another child because of the damage to her body in trying to carry a child so young, before her body was ready.

MEGAN N.4 years ago

CONT ...
We don't allow him to go anywhere where we think he will be overwhelmed by temptation. Basically WE PARENT HIM. And because we have no illusions about the fact that he is a teenager and will try to hide things from us and not always be able to tell us everything we have always made sure he has a large network of friends and extended family who he can go to if he can not come to us.

He has friends who have sex and even knows one girl in the 8th grade who asked him where she could buy a pregnancy test. The problem is those parents still think their little ones are little. Parents need to grow up and parent their teens - not treat them like babies and then act like they should have known better when they get into trouble.

MEGAN N.4 years ago

@ Diane
Parents can be held responsible for their children up to age 21 for some things and I believe they can be held responsible for them up to age 24 financially. So my parents would have been held responsible for me and my baby (in fact they could have been held responsible for all 3 of my boys if I had not married their dad). Children are not fully emancipated at age 18 or age 21 unless they marry and then the young men are considered men and responsible for themselves and their wives young women are responsible for their husbands and themselves.

My point here may sound mean (and I do know how hard it is to raise a teenager) But I have to say in all of this the parents of both of these young people are going to have to shoulder at least part of the blame and therefor take on some of the responsibility. I have a 14 year old son and he has not had sex. He has been made aware of the repercussions emotional, physical, and financial, and possibly even legal of having sex before he is ready and of legal age.

That being said I am not stupid, I know he will be doing it before too long. He is a popular, athletic and attractive kid and he has actually told his step dad and I of opportunities he has had where he has declined. We also know where he is and who he is with, have set curfew for him. We don't allow him to go anywhere where we think he will be overwhelmed by temptation. Basically WE PARENT HIM. And because we have no illusions about the fact that he i

MEGAN N.4 years ago

@ Diane I think we are on the exact same page but with different ways of expressing it. I honestly think the parents have to accept some of the responsibility for their daughters pregnancy. No I do not believe that she is mature enough to care for a baby at 14. She can not get a full time job yet. I am assuming that the father is right around the same age so will also not be able to contribute financially yet. Not to mention the effect on her body, I know mine was never quite the same after. There will be times when she wishes she never had the child and the chances of her and the father staying together are so small they aren't even worth mentioning. She may never finish high school and will probably not even realize college is an option for her. I am not debating what a train wreck it will probably be if she and the father raise this baby themselves. What I am saying is that if we do not allow her to make her own decision for her body then we open up a whole lot of possibilities that would be disastrous for women everywhere. What if a man gets his girlfriend pregnant and then wants her to have an abortion? Would he be able to force her to? Probably not but would he be able to try because of precedent set in case law if the parents win this suit? YES!! and that is the scary part. The minuet we allow anyone to tell any woman what to do or not to do with her body we are losing the freedoms R vs. W gave us. Also -and this is just my personal opinion but this girl

Diane L.
Diane L.4 years ago

Megan, I have to agree with everything you said in your comment made at 7:47 A.M. I'm sorry you were pressured so negatively when you were 18, IF you were mature enough to handle your condition. Not all 18-yr-olds are, and certainly very FEW 14-yr-olds! All any of us are saying is that there needs to be choices available and it's not right for anyone to impose THEIR personal beliefs on any other person capable of making their own decisions when they are not affecting anyone else. However, how likely is it that a 14-yr-old's pregnancy will not affect anyone else? I might not have worded this very well, but I HOPE my point was made that there can be a world of difference in your maturity level at 18, and this girl's at 14. She is still under the care of her parents (legally), but at 18, you weren't. You were legally able to make your own decisions and should have been given options and allowed to go from there.

William Y.
William Y.4 years ago

MEGAN N. asks, "I understand what you are saying but I wonder what people would say if I were to say I am pro choice but against abortion."

I doubt many would say anything, since, if you look at my last post, that is my feeling on the subject. I have not had anyone make a comment either positive or negative to the comment except that to some so called pro-lifers, my position is hypocritical. ie; If I am against abortion I can't be pro-choice. Most of these so called pro-lifers are pro-prelife, after the child is born they couldn't care less what happens to it.
Also if you look back to my first post on this topic, I agreed that the girl had to make the final decision no matter what that decision was. That is the choice, hers not anyone else' s.

MEGAN N.4 years ago

@ William I understand what you are saying but I wonder what people would say if I were to say I am pro choice but against abortion.

What I mean there is I believe abortion is wrong and I believe that aside from rape and the occasional failed birth control most pregnancies would be better prevented than ended. And that if something happened to a responsible woman and she still ended up pregnant than abortion is a totally reasonable option.

It makes me crazy that people no longer seem to feel the need to act in a responsible manner because they can use abortion as a back up.

I believe that a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body. I also believe that abortion is wrong.

To put that into context - I support soldiers who are fighting overseas and I will never speak ill of them but I also believe we have no business in the middle east.

Hope that makes sense.

Also if you read some of the comments on this page and compare it to the context of the article these pro - choicers seem pretty pro - abortion to me. They are showing no respect to the fact that this young girl wants to (is CHOOSING to) have her baby. There are many on here who have said she should be forced to abort her baby. That is the opposite of choice. The argument of pro - choice has to go both ways but many on here have actually stated that it does not. That pro - choice means choice to abort. That Pro - Choice has nothing to do with a woman having the right to have

MEGAN N.4 years ago

@ William

Fair enough but why then do you say that anyone who prefers life would be anti choice. I believe that I am pro life because I CHOSE life. And if I were to be asked by a friend what I thought they should do I would tell them my honest opinion, that if they felt they had to have an abortion they should at least examine all the other options before choosing the proper course for themselves.

I did this when I was deciding what to do when I was pregnant at so young an age. I chose to take by far the hardest but the most rewarding road and I am glad I did. That was the right CHOICE for me but might not be right for everyone. By saying I am pro life I just mean that I think everyone should look at every option before they decide to have an abortion. If that is what they believe is best after honest consideration of the options then I say fair enough.

I chose to have my baby because to me personally I would feel like I had killed a person because my personal belief as to when life began what when they told me I was pregnant. That meant there was a person inside me and I loved it before I really understood what it meant to love a child.

I chose to keep my baby because I knew I wasn't strong enough emotionally to walk away from him. That was a selfish choice that I make no apologies for.

I know keeping a baby as young as 18 years old is not the best choice for many young women. I look back at what I was doing at that age and how capable and respon

William Y.
William Y.4 years ago

@ MEGAN M. You are confusing the right-wing connotation of Choice with the real meaning, which is what you say later in your post.
I don't condone forced abortions any more than I condone the 14 year old to go on with the pregnancy. That is the choice. Obviously a 14 year old needs some help with the decision, but the ultimate choice must be hers.
You say, "I don't believe that surgical abortion should be used as a back up birth control if it isn't necessary.
I do believe that women should ALL have access to the morning after pill.
I don't pretend to know when life begins but I would say by five months or so would be a fair guess.
I think that 3rd term abortions for anything other than medical emergency are abhorrent.
I believe that if we were to take away CHOICE then we would eventually lose all our freedoms and that is terrifying."
I fully agree with that. I totally prefer contraception to abortion and personally am against abortion.
If what you say, "What they taught was that I should have an abortion because I was young and dumb and had no right to be a mother at that young age and I would be ruining my life."
Then whoever conducted the class needs to do some research and not be so one sided.
Each case is different. All the factors have to be weighed.

MEGAN N.4 years ago

CONT... Sorry got cut off right at the end - and this is my braggy part (because it really was hard and I really am very proud) and because I hope that hearing my story might make one girl see that her life is not over just because she is a teen mom.

So here is the rest of my post.....

FYI My son is an honer student. As are my other two (including my special needs child) all born before I hit 24 years old. I am a College Graduate (and not one of those play pretend online colleges) I have a AAS Degree from a great college and a BAS Degree from an even better University. I have never lived on welfare and my children have never suffered or gone without. No I am not from a wealthy family and neither is their father. I worked and paid my bills and taught my kids to be happy with what they had and not to be greedy and selfish.

Oh and one more thing - this is only my personal feelings and opinions. You wont change my mind but I don't want to change yours either. As far as this issue goes I see many sides and it gets confused with politics and I don't believe in fighting - just sharing and learning. So please don't take anything I said personal. After all it is only one girls opinion and thats all.