An undocumented immigrant teen who aborted her unborn baby after a highly publicized legal battle now needs mental health treatment, the government said Monday.
Like so many women who have aborted their unborn babies, it appears that this vulnerable young woman is struggling with her decision. However, the ACLU has been trying to thwart the government’s efforts.
On Monday, the Trump administration asked a federal judge to overturn a gag order that prevents them from sharing with doctors or other caregivers that the young woman had an abortion, the Washington Times reports.
They argued that the abortion is important information that should be shared with doctors and mental health professionals in order to help treat “Jane Doe,” a 17-year-old who crossed the Texas border illegally and is staying in a taxpayer-funded shelter.
Here’s more from the report:
U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, an Obama appointee to the federal bench, had imposed severe restrictions on the government’s ability to communicate about the juvenile girl’s abortion, citing privacy laws. The Trump administration said it needs those rules relaxed in order to secure the best care for the 17-year-old girl, known in court documents as “J.D.”
“The Court’s restriction, as we understand it, prohibits HHS or the shelter from informing prospective mental health providers of J.D.’s abortion or sharing her medical records concerning that abortion,” said Jonathan White, deputy director for the government’s children’s programs, in the court document.
“This information would normally be shared with such health care providers; reporting recent medical and surgical procedures is a standard intake question for mental health treatment,” he said.
The government also argues the order restricts its ability to find J.D. an adequate sponsor who she could stay with in the U.S., and to ensure the sponsor would be able to properly care for J.D.
Lawyers for the ACLU said the government should not be allowed to share information about the young woman’s abortion without her consent.
Last week, the government also accused the ACLU of being misleading in their efforts to schedule an abortion for the teen.
“After informing Justice Department attorneys that the procedure would occur on October 26th, Jane Doe’s attorneys scheduled the abortion for the early morning hours of October 25th, thereby thwarting Supreme Court review,” Department of Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley said in a statement Friday.
Some questioned why the Trump administration did not appeal the Oct. 24 court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but this new development explains why.
“Jane Doe,” the undocumented teenager at the center of the court battle, aborted her 16-week unborn baby on Oct. 25, barely a day after a federal appeals court forced Trump administration officials to help facilitate the abortion.
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In the petition to the Supreme Court, the government said the ACLU violated its duty to the court and the Bar, and disciplinary actions may be warranted.
Many women struggle with mental health problems after having an abortion. Studies indicate that abortions are linked to increased risks of depression, anxiety, suicide or suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug abuse and other problems.
A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, for example, found an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems among women who had abortions, compared to women who give birth.
A 2009 study by New Zealand researchers at the University of Otago found similar results. They reviewed the medical histories of more than 500 women and concluded that having an abortion generally “leads to significant distress” in some women.
And while abortion facilities rarely, if ever, offer post-abortion counseling, pro-life organizations offer a wide variety of non-judgmental programs to help women through their struggles with their unborn baby’s abortion death.