The parents of a 15-year-old girl from Virginia are suing Bristol Women’s Health, LLC, and the Dickenson County Department of Social Services (DSS) for $15.4 million. They claim that their daughter was talked into having an abortion without their consent by an employee of the DSS.
The teenager, who was three months pregnant, was taken to Bristol Women’s Health, LLC, where the DSS employee allegedly persuaded her to end the pregnancy although she insisted she wanted to keep the baby.
A 15-year-old Virginia girl, three month's pregnant, was allegedly talked into having an abortion, and now her parents have filed a $15.4 million civil lawsuit, seeking damages. https://t.co/5YRvmKDppH pic.twitter.com/xU5fv9Hcph
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) February 19, 2023
The lawsuit, filed in the Dickenson County civil court, names the director and physician at Bristol Women’s Health, the DSS worker, and the DSS director as defendants. The case seeks both compensatory and punitive damages.
Bristol Women’s Health, LLC is the only abortion clinic in Bristol, Virginia, and relocated there from Tennessee after the Volunteer State banned abortion procedures last year. Tennessee’s prohibition resulted from the Supreme Court’s decision in June 2022 to overturn Roe v. Wade, returning the authority to regulate or ban abortion to each state individually.
In October 2022, city council members in Bristol, Virginia, voted unanimously to ban any additional abortion clinics from opening within city limits. However, some have questioned the legality of the ordinance.
In a separate lawsuit against the Bristol abortion clinic, its landlord, Kilo Delta LLC, has claimed it was not made aware that abortions would be performed on the property when it agreed to rent to the clinic’s owners. Kino Delta seeks to terminate the lease immediately, alleging it was intentionally misled when a realtor claimed the building would be used simply as a “medical clinic.”
One of the clinic’s owners, Diane Derzis, denied intentionally concealing her intentions, saying that she has been in the abortion “business” for 47 years. Derzis was the owner of another abortion clinic in Jackson, Mississippi, which was at the center of the case that ended the rule of Roe last year.
The eviction lawsuit alleges the defendants willfully concealed their plan to offer abortions at the clinic. The owners allege that the defendants’ realtor stated that her clients had a “general family practice.” The landlords argue they would never have leased the property to the defendants if they had disclosed their true intended purpose.
The two lawsuits in the highly conservative southwestern part of Virginia highlight the ongoing controversy over abortion rights in the various states and local jurisdictions around the country since the end of Roe v. Wade.