A federal court has refused to hear a case for a 17-year old illegal immigrant seeking a “free” abortion.
Texas law prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The girl’s attorney claims the girl is 14-weeks into her pregnancy.
Advocates appealed for a federal case for the girl, who crossed the border illegally and unaccompanied. The girl is from Central America, but her nationality and name has not been revealed.
With the help a lawyer, the girl was able to avoid Texas law, which states that minors must have consent from a parent to have an abortion, but staff at the Texas facility for illegal immigrant minors are not permitting her to see doctors to schedule an abortion.
The girl is not facing deportation, but Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says that people who’ve shirked the legal immigration process to reside in the U.S. undocumented have not constitutional right to demand an abortion.
The Texas Tribune reports:
Instead, she was taken to a crisis pregnancy center. Such centers encourage pregnant women not to have an abortion.
“I feel like they are trying to coerce me to carry my pregnancy to term,” the girl said in a declaration filed in federal court last week.
The teen’s request for an abortion has been met with harsh denials by U.S. and state officials.
U.S. lawyers representing HHS argued that the ACLU’s request for a temporary restraining order allowing an abortion to go forward was wrong on technical grounds, since the original lawsuit argued HHS was violating the First Amendment by allowing religious groups to allegedly refuse access to abortion. In this case, the 17-year-old is not being held in a facility with a religious affiliation, government lawyers said.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton went further in a separate filing Tuesday. Paxton, who is a strident opponent of abortion rights like most leaders in the nation’s largest conservative state, argued that people in the United States illegally without some type of established ties to the country did not have a “constitutional right to an abortion on demand.”
The ACLU claims that the reason the girl is being denied a taxpayer funded abortion is because the shelter she lives in is imposing its religion on her, prohibiting her from seeking an abortion.
The girl was caught by immigration authorities and was placed in the custody of the “Office for Refugee Resettlement” since she is an unaccompanied minor.
The Texas Tribune continues:
After being caught by immigration authorities, Jane Doe, as she’s referred to in court filings, is currently at a shelter in Brownsville in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a federal agency responsible for refugees and unaccompanied undocumented minors. Doe is seeking an emergency court order authorizing her to access abortion services after the federal office blocked her from attending a pre-abortion medical appointment, according to Susan Hays, legal director of Jane’s Due Process, a nonprofit that provides legal representation for pregnant minors in Texas.
In a hearing Wednesday in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the American Civil Liberties Union tried to add Doe to a June 2016 case against the federal government – then run by the Obama administration – for allegedly allowing some religiously affiliated shelters to impose their religion on minors by prohibiting their access to abortion.
[…] The California judge denied the request, arguing that she couldn’t hear Doe’s case because Doe is in Texas. However, the judge did say that “the government has no business blocking Jane Doe’s abortion,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project, in a statement after the ruling.
“Today’s District Court ruling comes as a serious disappointment, because it delays Jane Doe’s abortion even further,” Amiri said. “Jane Doe has already been blocked by the Trump administration from two appointments related to her abortion care. But she has shown tremendous courage and persistence, and we’re not giving up.”
Both the ACLU and Jane’s Due Process informed that they would continue to pursue a court ruling requiring the Office of Refugee Resettlement to let Doe leave the shelter to get the abortion she wants.
The girl was allowed to leave the shelter, but only to go to a Crisis Pregnancy Center, not to receive an abortion.
In an interview with the Texas Tribune, an ACLU lawyer says the Office of Refugee Resettlement is not allowing the girl access to an abortion, “effectively holding her hostage.”
The ACLU isn’t giving up on the case and is currently seeking other options. Apparently, the unborn child just has to die, in their assessment. We can expect this to be appealed going forward.