Immigration officials have been refusing to allow the 17-year-old, known in court as Jane Doe, to travel to an abortion clinic from the shelter for unaccompanied immigrant minors where she is being held.
Federal officials told Jane's mother about her abortion despite her clear wishes not to tell her parents and despite Jane getting a court order under Texas law to consent to her abortion without notification of or consent from her parents.
So the ACLU took it to a Washington, D.C. court, where U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered Doe's guardian to transport her "promptly and without delay" to the nearest abortion provider to have the procedure by October 21 (at the latest). However, even the victims of rape and incest and those who have a way to pay for the procedure are being prevented from getting an abortion.
Chutkan's order even specified when the government-facilitated abortion is to take place. "But it can not block it".
Federal officials forced her to have a medically unnecessary sonogram against her will.
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Chutkan, an Obama administration nominee, said the government appeared to be presenting the teenager identified in court papers as "Jane Doe" with two options: Voluntarily return to a nation she fled to procure an abortion, or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
"Just because she's here illegally doesn't mean she doesn't have constitutional rights", Chutkan, who said she was "astounded" by the government's position on the matter, said. Reps. Beto O'Rourke Zoe Lofgren have also sent a letter to HHS demanding that it explain its anti-abortion policies and actions.
"I respectfully disagree that she's entitled to an abortion", he said, noting that the girl's case did not constitute a medical emergency.
Doe is now 14 weeks pregnant and has been battling abortion access since her first scheduled procedure on 28th September.
The head of a leading pro-life group told LifeNews.com she is upset by the ruling.
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"Today's ruling is outrageous and sets a unsafe precedent", said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List. On Monday, the Administration for Children and Families (a division of Health and Human Services) backed Lloyd's policy and applauded the way the ORR was taking care of Doe and her unborn child.
"This ruling plays into the broader agenda of the ACLU, which is recklessly exploiting a teenage girl in order to make the United States a sanctuary state for abortion", said Dannenfelser. "We urge the Justice Department to appeal this ruling".
Their argument is that the Trump administration, through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, has adopted a policy that directly prevents unaccompanied immigrant minors from obtaining abortions - a constitutional right in the United States.
The ACLU responded by filing a lawsuit against the government this summer. The Trump administration has been working against illegal immigrant minors who are living in shelters funded by the government from getting abortion since March.
There is a lawsuit on behalf of "Jane Doe", a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor who was taken into federal custody. Texas, where the girl resides, allows abortions up until 20 weeks gestation. A federal magistrate judge in California agreed with the ACLU earlier this month but said she could not rule in the case because the girl is detained in South Texas. And with that right, countless others undoubtedly would follow.
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The pregnant teen, who immigrated to the United States illegally, has exhausted to get an abortion for a while. "Texas has a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life". In this case, the plaintiff argues that she went to court with "an appointed guardian" and obtained the necessary judicial waiver. This case shines a light on what appears to be a new, constitutionally-flawed directive out of the ORR office: No federal shelters caring for unaccompanied immigrants can allow minors to get an abortion without "direction and approval from the Director of ORR".