The girl is nine weeks pregnant and says her parents are pressuring her to get an abortion.
A pregnant Texas teen is suing her parents, claiming they're trying to force her into getting an abortion against her will.
The lawsuit filed this week in Harris County District Court on behalf of the 16-year-old Houston-area girl contends her parents "are violating her federal constitutional rights to carry her child to term by coercing her to have an abortion with both verbal and physical threats and harassment."
The girl, identified in court documents only by the initials R.E.K., is nine weeks pregnant, according to court documents. Her lawyers say she has been living for the past seven months with the unborn baby's grandparents.
When the girl's mother found out about the pregnancy, she responded that she would "take care of it" and that it wasn't the girl's choice, the lawsuit says. The girl's father became extremely angry, threatened not to pay her health insurance and told her "he was going to take her to have an abortion and that the decision was his, end of story," according to the lawsuit.
"Effectively, both parents who are responsible for caring for her have made her choose between them taking care of her or having an abortion," the lawsuit says.
The girl is being represented by Stephen Casey and Greg Terra, lawyers with the Texas Center for Defense of Life, an anti-abortion group that says its mission is to "aggressively defend the sanctity of human life in Texas and federal courts from conception through natural death."
"She is legally protected. They cannot drag her to get an abortion, force an abortion on our client," Casey told click2houston.com.
A judge on Tuesday granted a temporary restraining order against the girl's parents and said he would ask state child-welfare workers to investigate them, KTRK-TV reported. The parents were not in court on Tuesday.
The case on Wednesday was transferred to family court, which hears matters relating to families and children, Casey told MSN News. A hearing was set for Monday on a request by the girl's lawyers for a temporary injunction.
The girl's mother did not immediately return a telephone call for comment on Wednesday to MSN News. The girl's father could not immediately be reached for comment. On Monday, he declined to go on camera but denied the daughter's allegations, KTRK reported.
The lawsuit cites two U.S. Supreme Court decisions that the girl's lawyers say give the teen the right to choose not to have an abortion: the 1973 Roe. V. Wade ruling and the 1979 Belloti v. Baird case. Those cases are often hailed by pro-abortion rights groups as protective of abortion rights.
Roe V. Wade affirmed a woman's right to choose abortion, but Casey says it also gives the teen the choice not to have one.
Bellotti v. Baird overturned a Massachusetts law that required minors under the age of 18 to get parental consent before they can have an abortion.
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