Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whose Right to Choose?

People who are pro-abortion as a legal option use the phrase "woman's right to choose" with the implication that this is about a woman's right to control her own body. But mostly I know women who felt coerced into their abortions by the other people in their lives.

The first time I ever heard about an abortion was from an older (17 year old) second cousin of mine who told me that her boyfriend's parents had arranged for her to have the abortion without her own parents knowing when she was 15 years old. So I was interested to see this news from Georgia today.

According to ABC News here:

A Georgia mother who did not think her teenage son was ready to be a father was sentenced to a year in jail last week for illegally signing a parent consent form for his 16-year-old pregnant girlfriend so she could get an abortion...

Though she was not present at the clinic for the abortion procedure, the consent note with Cook's signature was used as evidence in the trial.

"Ms. Cook got herself in trouble when she held herself out to be the victim's mother," James said, "and when she executed a document that defined her as such."

"She actually got on the phone and found a clinic that would proceed without her being there," James said. ...

S. Fenn Little Jr., the attorney representing the teenage girl and her family, condemned Cook's behavior and also raised questions about the role of the Northside Women's Clinic, where the teenager had the abortion in May 2007, in the illegal abortion.

"It was very clear from the testimony at the trial that the girl was coerced and very much strong-armed into getting this abortion that she opposed, that her parents opposed and that at one point, the boy opposed," Little told ABC News. Cook's motivation, he said, was a fear that having a child might jeopardize her son's college plans.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution here::
Cook "began to pressure until the young lady relented and agreed to have an abortion," DeKalb County solicitor general Robert James said Wednesday.

Displeased that the baby would ruin her son's chances of going to college, Cook "searched for a clinic that did not require a parent to be present, forged the letter of parental acknowledgement and paid for the abortion" on May 12, 2007, James said.

Last week, a judge sentenced Cook, now 44, to a year in jail —- the maximum for a misdemeanor —- for interfering with custody and violating a parental notification law.

"This conduct is reprehensible," James said. "There's not a parent anywhere who'd be OK with what she did."

James said his office is now investigating whether the facility —- Northside Women's Clinic in Chamblee —- violated state law.

h/t Innocent as Doves

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