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Teen sues family over alleged abortion threat

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 5:02 PM EST, Wed January 18, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Teen says in suit her family abused her
  • Her attorney says she wants to carry the child to term
  • A restraining order against the family has been issued

(CNN) -- A Corpus Christi, Texas, teenager is suing her family, claiming they are trying to force her to have an abortion.

The 14-year-old girl is 10 weeks pregnant and wants to carry her child to term, says her attorney.

The teen sought legal help after she was allegedly physically and verbally assaulted by her grandmother and two cousins.

The grandmother and both cousins are accused in the suit of verbally abusing the girl and scheduling an appointment for an abortion without the teen's permission. The teen's lawyers were able to get an emergency restraining order put in place before the scheduled abortion.

One of the cousins is also accused in the suit of threatening and physically harming the girl. CNN's calls to the attorney representing the grandmother and the cousins were not returned.

"The girl was grabbed by the neck, hit across the face, and thrown into a car in addition to the verbal abuse," said Stephen Casey, the teen's lawyer, who refused to release the girl's name.

Casey is with the Texas Center for Defense of Life, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to pro-life organizations and residents in Texas and who has tried similar cases before.

"This is a highly under-reported situation," Casey said. "If a woman has a constitutional right to an abortion under Roe v Wade, then she has a constitutional right to keep her child." Roe v Wade is a reference to the Supreme Court case extending to women the right to decide to have an abortion.

The teen was back in court last week to file a second temporary restraining order against the family. Judge Missy Medary with the 347th District Court in Corpus Christi appointed a guardian, and the girl now lives with an unnamed relative.

Casey said the girl's goal is to be able to carry her baby to term and to then decide what options there are for them. The baby's father agrees, he said.

"She hasn't finalized her decision whether it is adoption or to keep it, that's the second or third step at this point," Casey said.

CNN affiliate KIII TV reported that the girl and her relatives will next be in court on January 19 when Medary will decide whether to continue to enforce the temporary restraining order.

In the meantime, the temporary retraining order prevents the girl's relatives from threatening, harassing or physically forcing her into having an abortion.

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