The National Organization for Women opens up their “Reproductive Justice” page with the following:
Reproductive justice ensures that women are healthy, both physically and emotionally; that they can make decisions about their bodies and sexuality free from government interference; and that they have the economic resources to plan their own families. A woman’s well-being requires self-determination, equality, and the respect and support of her society.
What exactly is reproductive justice? Does it include the right to choose life? Given the “Hot Topics” section of the NOW website, I’d guess not. I can read a call to action against the sexist Super Bowl ads. I can also send a message to President Obama telling him to include more women in his Cabinet. I can read about the Violence Against Women Act. Roe v. Wade is mentioned on the first page no less than five times.
Missing is any mention of the 16 year old Texas girl fighting for the life of her unborn baby. What about her choice? It’s not a stretch to call forced abortion an act of violence. Isn’t the life of a child and the rights of a young woman far more important than a 30 second Super Bowl ad that no one even remembers anymore?
Greg Terra and Stephen Casey certainly think so. They partnered up to form the Texas Center for Defense of Life, a nonprofit “dedicated to providing legal representation and support to pro-life organizations and individuals in Texas, and to aggressively defending the sanctity of human life in Texas and federal courts.”
They will be in a Harris County court room Monday afternoon to defend the rights of a mother and an unborn child, unwittingly thrown into the middle of a controversy in Texas. Their client’s parents want to force their daughter to have an abortion. Last week a temporary restraining order was granted by a judge, protecting mother and child from harm.
I spoke with Mr. Terra about the case. One of my first questions was to ask about the father of the unborn child. Lost in the extensive media coverage of this case was any mention of him or his rights. Didn’t anyone care where he was? The only mention seems to be the barrage of complaints against him in the comment section of most articles, along with the usual archaic assumptions about the mother. I’m happy to report he IS involved. He will be at the hearing, in full support of their client and his unborn child.
As a mother, I cannot begin to imagine being forced to have an abortion. Nor can I imagine that force coming from the child’s own grandparents. What does that say about where we are as a society? A child is a mere inconvenience? A distraction from what life could be? A roadblock to an easier path? What exactly is it about an unplanned pregnancy that makes people think murder is the only viable option?
It’s ironic the “pro-choice” crowd seems to be silent on this case. (By ironic I mean, well, not ironic). Where is the outrage, NOW? Code Pink, will you be at the courthouse in your pink vagina costumes in full support of this girl’s choice? NARAL? Nothing? Are you too busy vilifying crisis pregnancy centers to respond?
In what I like to think of as a dagger to these groups, Mr. Casey is using traditionally “pro-choice” legal cases to make the argument for his client:
The United States Supreme Court in Bellotti v. Baird (443 U.S. 622, 1979) held that a teenage girl has the absolute legal right to make her own reproductive choices, including the right to not to have an abortion, regardless of what her parents want her to do; so if a Texas teenage girl chooses life we will stand with her in court in support of that choice.
That has to be making heads spin at Planned Parenthood.
I won’t pretend this case ends on Monday. This baby is going to require support and the parents are going to need every bit of help they can get. Whatever their choice, it’s something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. I’d hope the very least we can do is applaud them for respecting the sanctity of life. This young girl has already shown a bit of motherly instinct by protecting her child, no matter the cost.
Thank God TCDL is around to do the same.
For more information on this and other cases, please visit the TCDL website at www.tcdl.org
Image: Pink Power/Women march for peace; photogropher: Brendan Themes; source: Flickr.com; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license