Pregnant teen reaches agreement with parents over baby
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A Houston teenager's fight to keep her baby over the objections of her own parents is now over.
She took her parents to court to stop them from forcing her to have an abortion. Monday, they reached an agreement.
The 16-year-old girl and her boyfriend walked out of the courthouse claiming victory, with her parents agreeing to not interfere with her pregnancy. But before that, there were some tense moments.
The pregnant teen's father made an obscene hand gesture and attempting to hit some TV cameras. We're not showing his face, because we've been asked not to identify his 16-year-old daughter, who is 10 weeks pregnant.
However, we did talk to the girl's lawyer and the unborn baby's teenage father, Evan Madison, about the alleged threats that brought the girl to court.
"Basically to make her life miserable until she was going to do what they wanted her to do, and that was to have an abortion," Madison said.
The pregnant teen, with the support of her boyfriend and his parents, asked the court for an injunction to keep her parents from using physical and verbal threats in attempts to force her to terminate her unplanned pregnancy.
After about an hour and a half meeting between lawyers for all sides, an agreement was reached. The girl's parents agreed to let her continue carrying the baby and they gave her permission to marry the child's father.
"That's what we want to do," Madison said.
Madison says it's been a trying few weeks.
"Emotionally and stressfully, it's been tough, we've had fights and arguments over all of this and what's going to happen next because her parents are very unpredictable of what they've been pulling," Madison said.
Pregnancy outreach workers say there are risks for expectant moms dealing with stress in the critical first trimester.
Bobbie Zamminer with the Community Pregnancy Center of Pasadena explained, "Those first 14 weeks are when all of the organs are being formed."
Tama Chunn is the executive director of Foundation for Life, which often helps pregnant teens in similar situations. She is happy with the agreement and finds an unlikely ally in NARAL Pro-Choice Texas -- a political pro-choice lobby.
"I think there would be common ground in protecting a woman's life, but I think where we vary is we want to protect the child's life," Chunn said.
Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, sent us the following statement Monday:
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas supports the right of every woman, regardless of age, to be free to make decisions regarding her own reproduction, whether that be abortion, adoption or to parent. We only wish that the Texas Center for Defense of Life, who stated in their request for a Temporary Restraining Order that "Plaintiff has independent standing under U.S. Supreme Court law to make her own reproductive decisions," supported all reproductive decisions. In addition to being able to decide to parent, young women who choose abortion or wish to access contraception should also be free to do so without requiring parental consent.
Chunn, of course, does take issue with one of those options.
Madison's parents have agreed to help support the young couple through this pregnancy, but both families will split the medical costs.
"What's important right now is that his family is going to walk with him through this, which is all that everybody wanted from this case to begin with," said attorney Stephen Casey.
We asked Madison if he's ready to tackle the responsibilities of being a father.
He answered, "Some of it says I'm ready, and some of it says I'm not."
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