U.S. Immigration Law Has Abortion Consequences for Mexican Woman

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 17, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

U.S. Immigration Law Has Abortion Consequences for Mexican Woman Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 17, 2006

Dallas, TX (LifeNews.com) — Abortion and immigration law normally don’t have much to do with each other, but in one rare case a pregnant Mexican woman who could have had an abortion was allowed to stay longer in the U.S. because of her pregnancy.

Myrna Dick illegally came to the United States years ago from Mexico and eventually married a Dallas, Texas man. While her request for citizenship was in progress, she returned to Mexico to visit a sick relative.

She was caught by immigration officials while attempting to cross the border and come back to the United States.

Detained and taken to an immigration court in Missouri, a judge ruled Dick could stay in the country because she was pregnant.

A federal judge ruled that her unborn child Zachary was an American citizens and, because he couldn’t be deported, neither could she. That is, until Zachary was born.

According to an AP report, immigration officials renewed their case to deport Dick after Zachary’s birth. In February they won their case based on allegations Dick gave false information about her identity to immigration officials.

They won the right to deport her and prevent her from coming back to the United States for life — separating her from her husband and Zachary, who is now 17 months old.

In an ironic development, abortion advocates are finding themselves siding with Dick, who is pro-life.

"First a judge declares there is some right of personhood attached to this fetus," said Pamela Sumners, director of NARAL’s Missouri affiliate, told AP. "Then the courts deprive this child of his mother once it’s been born by deporting her. This is insane public policy."

Dick’s attorney has appealed the decision to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

For other women illegally living in the United States, Dick’s case makes it clear that having a baby rather than an abortion makes is less likely they will be deported — at least initially.