Family sues over abortion attack
Tuesday 26 September 1995
The boy, his mother, stepfather and a group of friends stormed the girl's house. Screaming "Baby-killers, baby- killers", they kicked in the door and began hitting the girl's father. Carl Scott and his frightened family fled to the home of a cousin. Shortly after midnight, 10 squad cars surrounded the cousin's house.
The police, led by a deputy sheriff active in the anti-abortion movement, took the girl away after showing the parents a letter they had from a local doctor saying that an abortion could prove fatal. The doctor had not examined the girl but he did know she was 23 weeks pregnant.
The letter provided sufficient grounds for the police to keep the girl in custody for several hours before transferring her to the home of a foster family whom she did not know.
The next morning flyposters appeared all over town describing the Scotts as murderers. Twenty-four hours later the girl appeared before a juvenile court. The prosecutor argued, with only the doctor's letter as evidence, that the girl's health and morals had been endangered because of parental neglect.
The judge ruled that she should be released back into her parents' care but only "on condition that no abortion shall be performed on the subject's unborn child without further order of the court".
In the weeks that followed the girl was under constant surveillance. She was threatened with assault by friends of her former boyfriend, a young man whose battle to prevent the abortion had won him the admiration of most of his fellow pupils at the local high school. The girl herself was forced to stop going to school.
In December she gave birth to a daughter. But the harassment continued, so a few months later she, her child and her parents moved out of Blair.
Last week they filed a lawsuit, variously charging the boy- friend's family, the Blair deputy sheriff, the doctor and the county prosecutor with trespass, assault, false arrest and violations of constitutional rights. The boyfriend's mother, Kathy Tull, told the New York Times she was shocked the Scott family was taking legal action. "We just did what we thought was right. I said to my son that if whatever he was going through from all this was the price he had to pay for that darling little baby to be alive, it was worth it."
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...