Greg Terra and Stephen Casey: Texas Center for Defense of Life
Since almost their first meeting in 2009, Greg Terra and Stephen Casey have been working together to save lives in the womb. As co-founders of the Texas Center for Defense of Life (TCDL), the two Alliance Defending Freedom Allied Attorneys share a profound commitment to "aggressively defending the sanctity of human life" and a surprising strategy for accomplishing that defense – one that has so far enabled them to win every case they’ve taken at the TCDL.
Terra and Casey go where the action is. Since founding TCDL in 2011 (on the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade), the two have defended demonstrators, health care professionals, medical school students, pregnancy centers – anyone trying to make a stand for life in Texas. They specialize, though, in interceding for women being pressured against their will to have an abortion.
"About 60 percent of women feel their abortion was in some way forced on them," Casey says. In the name of "parents’ rights," many families believe they can use coercion – even violent physical force, he says – to compel an underage daughter to abort the child in her womb. He and Terra, though, have found an all-but-foolproof legal defense for such cases: Roe v. Wade.
"Roe v. Wade goes both ways," Terra says. The U.S. Supreme Court, by making abortion a matter of each woman’s personal choice, has made not having an abortion a matter of choice, too. "We‘ve taken Roe v. Wade, turned it around, and used it against the pro-abortion side," he says.
The success of that defense has drawn considerable media attention: foreign reporters from Italy to Mexico have profiled their efforts, as have Good Morning America, Piers Morgan Live, and 20/20 in the U.S. Fellow Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys from across the country have consulted with them on their own life cases. Helping them, Terra and Casey say, is a way of saying thanks for the extraordinary investment the ministry continues to make in their calling.
"It’s empowering to me," Casey says, "when I’m in front of a judge, arguing why this girl shouldn’t be forced to have an abortion, to know I’m not the only person who believes that. There’s a network of people around you, supporting you – the time, investment, and resources of Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and staff … all the Allied Ministry Friends who contribute to give me the professional development that helps me save lives. (They provide) a community, encouragement, and professional development. To me, it’s just the total package."