After the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade to protect choice and legalize abortion in 1973 anti-abortion groups sprang up across the country to rail against the ruling and have made every attempt to make abortion illegal ever since. These groups have teamed with Republican lawmakers to pass laws designed to ban many forms of birth control, to shut down abortion clinics, and to force women who seek an abortion to undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound, among many others. Anti-abortion groups hate abortion so much the last thing anyone can imagine is an anti-abortion group using Roe v. Wade to defend choice. But it is happening, and it’s happening in the heart of Texas, where Roe v. Wade originated.
Stephen Casey is the chief attorney for Texas Center for Defense of Life and they represent, and have filed a lawsuit on behalf of, an unnamed teen girl who is suing her parents for the right to choose not to terminate her pregnancy. What is most surprising, however, is the kind of defense the anti-abortion group is using — Casey and Defense of Life contend that Roe v. Wade protects their client’s choice to proceed with the pregnancy despite the wishes of her parents.
According to the lawsuit, the 16 year old girl alleges that her mother plotted to induce abortion by deceptively slipping her an abortion pill in a drink. The girl’s father also wanted her to have an abortion and intended to take the girl to have an abortion.
“We were asking judge to stop them physically forcing her to have an abortion. She is legally protected. They cannot drag her to get an abortion, force an abortion on our client,” Casey told KPRC . “What Roe established is minors have the choice. And when they do make the choice, folks are shocked that they want to carry the baby.”
The judge has issued an injunction in the case which was filed in October 2012, and the girl is expecting the birth of her baby this spring.
Casey and Defense of Life were right to protect this girl’s decision. Roe v. Wade protects the rights of women to carry pregnancies to term and such choices should be respected. But, there is a serious hypocrisy to point out: while this anti-abortion group is singing the praises of Roe v. Wade to protect a girl’s choice to not have an abortion, they fight day after day to deny women from having just as much a right to choose to terminate an unwanted pregnancy which is a choice that deserves just as much respect. The point is that Roe v. Wade protects the choices of ALL women, not just those who don’t want an abortion. It equally protects those who make the choice to have an abortion. Apparently, anti-abortion groups are happy to use Roe v. Wade to advance the choices of women who want to carry their pregnancies to term, but are completely opposed to women having the right to make the opposite choice. In other words, they don’t support choice at all unless it’s the choice they force you to make.