Trump administration tries to block abortion for pregnant undocumented immigrant


The girl is still to be taken for a counseling session Thursday as required under Texas law, where she is now being held in a government-contracted shelter.

She is being held at a facility in Texas administered under a contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for sheltering children who illegally enter the United States unaccompanied by a parent.

Previously, minors only needed to seek permission from ORR if they wanted the federal government to pay for their abortions, since federal funding for the procedure is restricted by the Hyde Amendment, said Brigitte Amiri, the lead lawyer for the ACLU on Doe's case.

As it did in district court, the Justice Department argues that undocumented immigrants do not have a constitutional right to access abortion. "It's an absurd argument", says the ACLU's Amiri.

Stewart maintained allowing Doe to leave the shelter was facilitative action, and thus a burden on the government.

Following a pattern set during Doe's previous attempts to get a court-ordered abortion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a brief urging the appeals court to side with the Trump administration.

What makes the case even more egregious is that the woman being held in government custody was struggling to deal with Texas's Republican-imposed laws making entirely legal abortions more hard than ever, including advanced counseling requirements and a post-20-week ban.

The ACLU took up her case, arguing that by not granting the girl the abortion, the government was forcing her to continue with the pregnancy against her will.

Under President Donald Trump, the Office of Refugee Resettlement has implemented policies against allowing abortions for the minors in its care. Further, they tried to talk the girl out of the procedure, taking her to a Christian crisis center where she received an ultrasound against her will. She requested an abortion for her unwanted pregnancy, but the U.S. Health and Human Services - acting on a new policy that prevents unaccompanied immigrant minors from obtaining abortions - barred it. They also violated the girl's privacy by informing her mother that she was trying to end a pregnancy.

ORR is led by E. Scott Lloyd, a long-time anti-abortion lawyer.

Besides ordering the refugee office to allow the abortion, Chutkan barred the office from revealing Jane Doe's abortion decision to anyone. Lawyers for the teenager had argued that time is critical.

Jane Doe will have to wait at least that long to find out if she'll be able to get the abortion she's been pursuing.

"I am astounded by that position", Judge Chutkan replied.

A judge's demand - under threat of a contempt citation - that USA government officials provide a taxpayer-funded abortion to an illegal alien teenager has been temporarily halted. The magistrate said she had no jurisdiction over events in other states in a case that had little relationship to the earlier suit.

On Wednesday, United States District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the government to allow Doe to leave for the procedure. When Stewart pushed back, saying he wasn't going to make a concession on that, Chutkan shook her head and laughed. He replied only that the minor "is entitled to choose one" under Supreme Court precedent. She added that the young woman would "suffer irreparable injury" if she were not allowed to receive the procedure. Stewart declined to answer.

"There is no constitutional right for a pregnant minor to illegally cross the US border and get an elective abortion while in federal custody", the agency said after the hearing.

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