Woman gets year in jail for forging girl's abortion parental notice

WASHINGTON — A Georgia woman has been sentenced to a year in jail after forging a letter of parental notification for her son's teenage girlfriend to have an abortion — and the clinic that performed the procedure may face legal consequences as well.

Cindi Cook, 44, received the sentence, which is the maximum for a misdemeanor, from a judge in DeKalb County in early June after being found guilty of custody interference and of a violation of the state's parental notice law, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported June 12.

Cook "searched for a clinic that did not require a parent to be present," county solicitor general Robert James said, according to the newspaper. She pressured the pregnant girl to have the abortion, forged the required parental notice letter and paid for the procedure at Northside Women's Clinic in Chamblee, Ga., the newspaper reported.

James' office is investigating whether the abortion clinic broke state law, he told the newspaper. Under Georgia's parental notification requirement, a parent is to be notified by telephone or certified mail if he will not be present for the abortion, The Journal-Constitution reported.

The girl's parents released a written statement after the sentencing: "The actions of both Cindi Cook and the Northside Women's Clinic have affected our daughter's life with much pain this past year because of the loss of her baby. They took away our right to be there and help our daughter during a time when she needed us most."

Cook's son and his girlfriend were both 16 when the abortion was performed in May 2007. The girl and her parents were not named by The Journal-Constitution because she was a minor when the crime took place.

The case demonstrates how coercive many abortions are, said a leader of a network of people harmed by abortion.

"Abortion clinics will not voluntarily ask girls or women if they're being coerced into ending their children's lives," said Georgette Forney, co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. "Abortion clinics are in business to make money and the more abortions they perform, the richer everyone involved becomes, everyone, that is, except the woman who's just had her life shattered and the baby who's just had his life ended."