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Immigrant Teen at Center of Abortion Case Undergoes Procedure

ACLU - wins abortion lawsuit for pregnant teen immigrant

An immigrant teen whose desire to terminate her pregnancy had her abortion Wednesday after the U.S. Appeals Court ruled in her favor, her lawyer confirmed to the media. The Trump administration objected to the procedure.



The 17-year-old fought the Trump administration for months for the right to have the abortion. The refusal by the Trump administration to grant the request caused the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that oversees facilities for unaccompanied minors who enter the U.S. illegally.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday upheld the lower court’s  ruling against HHS. The new ruling ordered HHS to stop all legal actions and allow the teen to proceed with the abortion.

RELATED: Judge Orders U.S. Govt. to Assist Immigrant Teen Seeking Abortion.

The Trump administration did not appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and advocates for the teen, known as “Jane Doe” quickly arranged the procedure following the Appeals Court ruling.






“I’m relieved for Jane Doe, but I’m so incredibly frustrated that we had to go through all of this for what is a very well-settled constitutional right,” Brigitte Amiri, an ACLU lawyer who fought for the immigrant teen in court, said.

The HHS  argued in court that it had established a policy of “refusing to facilitate” abortions for people in its care. Government lawyers made the suggestion that the teen could go back to her home country instead of having an abortion while in HHS custody.

The teen’s lawyers said government officials were illegally refusing medical treatment for the teen who was entitled to it, and proceeded to take the teen to a crisis pregnancy center which discourages pregnant women from having abortions.

“I’m relieved for Jane Doe, but I’m so incredibly frustrated that we had to go through all of this for what is a very well-settled constitutional right,” Brigitte Amiri, an ACLU lawyer who fought for the immigrant teen in court, said.

The teen entered the U.S. illegally in September and learned she was pregnant while in federal custody in Texas. Federal officials then refused to allow her to be transported or released to receive the abortion even though she received documentation on Sept. 25 permitting the abortion.




The teen’s case “is a canary in the coal mine,” Amiri said adding that she believes its emblematic of what is to come.

ACLU released emails from Scott Lloyd, the head of HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. Office of Refugee Resettlement oversees facilities for unaccompanied minors. The emails confirms that that Lloyd does not support abortion pre or post release.

Lloyd is quoted in another email asking for information on another teen who was pregnant and wanted to offer her “few good families to “see her through her pregnancy.”

Lawyers for the teen said she is from Central America and would not give anymore information citing privacy reasons. The teen feared abuse from her parents because her other teen sibling who was pregnant too was abused.







SEE ALSO: Former Tenn. GOP Senator Tom Coburn Says Trump Has ‘a Personality Disorder’.

Jane Doe was 15 weeks pregnant and Texas law bans most abortions after 20 weeks.

“It shouldn’t take dozens of laywers for anyone to get an abortion, and that’s what it took in this case,” said Susan Hays, legal director for Jane’s Due Process.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said it is tragic and argued in court documents the win could pave the way for anyone outside the U.S. to unlawfully enter and obtain an abortion. Paxton noted in statements that U.S. Department of Justice did not appeal the circuit court’s ruling to the Supreme Court of the United States and that the teen had no constitutional right to an abortion.

 

 

Contributor, The Liberal Advocate News

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