The ACLU is trying to force the Trump administration to facilitate abortions for more underage illegal immigrant girls after winning a victory for a Texas teen last year. The abortion activist group hopes to convince the Supreme Court to extend legalized abortion to undocumented people.
A fourth pregnant immigrant teenager in federal custody is telling a judge that the Trump administration is preventing her from having an abortion.
In three earlier cases, the judge ordered the administration to allow immigrant teens to end their pregnancies.
The unidentified 17-year-old girl says in a court declaration filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington that she has been asking for an abortion for two weeks. She says she wants one as soon as possible.
The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the girl and also seeking an order that would apply to future cases.
It is not known where the teen is from or where she is being held. The ACLU describes her as “an unaccompanied minor,” suggesting she was detained while trying to enter the U.S.
The pro-abortion legal group recently filed a class action lawsuit against the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees care for unaccompanied minor immigrants and refugees, the Washington Times reports.
In mid October, HHS reported that it currently was caring for 43 pregnant illegal immigrant girls. Jonathan White, the department’s director for children’s programs, said in court documents that 18 of the minors requested an abortion, 11 had them, five changed their minds and two left government custody before making a final decision.
Last year, the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement adopted new, life-affirming policies under President Donald Trump’s appointee Scott Lloyd. The office oversees shelters where the children stay until a sponsor or family member can be found to care for them.
Lloyd directed the shelters not to take “any action that facilitates” an abortion for unaccompanied minors without his direct approval, and that “grantees should not be supporting abortion services … only pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling.”
But abortion activists are angry that the government is encouraging counseling at pregnancy centers, rather than abortion businesses.
In October, the ACLU convinced a court to force the office to help facilitate an abortion for “Jane Doe,” an illegal immigrant teen in Texas. Later, Trump administration said the ACLU lied to its lawyers about when the teen’s abortion would take place, preventing it from appealing, the AP reports.
News reports indicate the teen also needed mental health counseling after aborting her unborn child.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a pro-life advocate, has been supporting the government’s efforts, arguing that immigrants who come to United States illegally do not have a “constitutional right to an abortion on demand.”
He pointed out that the ACLU is using the “Jane Doe” case to try to “create a right to abortion for anyone on earth who enters the U.S. illegally. And with that right, countless others undoubtedly would follow. Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions.”
Paxton continued, “The states have a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life, as well as an interest in promoting respect for human life at all stages in the pregnancy.”
“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.
The 17-year-old came to the country illegally and was staying at a taxpayer-funded shelter in Texas when she requested an abortion. The shelter did not assist her, citing a new government policy that they offer life-affirming support to women and girls who are pregnant, according to Slate.
According to the report, the shelter took “Jane Doe” to a pro-life pregnancy resource center instead. The ACLU said the teen did not change her mind after receiving counseling, and scheduled an abortion; however, the shelter where she is staying refused to transport her to the appointment.
The ACLU sued on behalf of the teen, and after a series of appeals by the U.S. government and the ACLU, the pro-abortion legal group won in federal appeals court. The teen aborted her unborn baby the next day.
Planned Parenthood, NARAL and other abortion activists celebrated the news of the unborn baby’s abortion death.