Ex-Nebraska couple files federal lawsuit in abortion case

The Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. A former Nebraska couple is suing a prosecutor, police, a doctor and the family of their daughter's former boyfriend, saying they were driven from town after their daughter decided to have an abortion.

Connie and Carl Scott said the boyfriend's family attacked them and a deputy handed out anti-abortion literature before taking their 15-year-old daughter away at 12:30 a.m. last Sept. 29.

A prosecutor then interrogated her without a lawyer and got a judge's order releasing her from foster care only on the condition she promised not to have the second-trimester abortion, the lawsuit said.

The couple also alleges in the federal lawsuit filed Friday in Lincoln that they were forced leave town after the boyfriend's family posted fliers throughout Blair, population 6,800, describing the Scotts as ''murderers.''

Jeanelle Kleveland, who is the Scott's attorney, said on Saturday that the girl, who was 23 weeks pregnant at the time, eventually gave birth in December and is raising the baby and living with her family in Iowa.

''She was court-ordered not to have an abortion,'' Ms. Kleveland said Saturday. ''The only way she could be returned to her family was by abiding by that order.''

The American Civil Liberties Union agreed to sponsor the lawsuit after the Scott family asked them for help last year.

''This poor family was trying to do what we want them to do talk among themselves about whether to have an abortion and they got harassed,'' said Andre Collins, interim director of the ACLU's Nebraska chapter.

''But the thing we really feel strong about is the actions of the police, the county attorney, the judge, all of whom should have known that their acts were unconstitutional.''

Under Nebraska law, the state can't restrict abortions until the fetus becomes viable, and that must be determined by a doctor, Ms. Kleveland said.

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