A federal judge nominated by Barack Obama today ordered the Trump Administration to allow an undocumented teenage girl in the state of Texas to have an abortion that could be funded partly at taxpayer expense.
Another judge previously refused to step into the controversial abortion case involving a shelter that is encouraging a 17 year old immigrant girl here illegally to choose life for her unborn baby instead of having an abortion. The ACLU, which filed a restraining order on the girl’s behalf, claims a new federal government policy is blocking the girl from getting the abortion that she wants.
On Wednesday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler refused to grant the pro-abortion legal group’s request, saying the restraining order should be filed in a different court and as a separate case to one that the ACLU filed earlier this year. While Beeler said the matter was not for her to decide, she also said she thinks there is “no justification” for preventing the girl from getting an abortion.
“The government may not want to facilitate abortion,” Beeler wrote in her decision. “But it cannot block it. It is doing that here.”
In a subsequent ruling today, another federal judge forced the Trump administration to facilitate the abortion.
Lawyers for Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan in Washington that the 17-year-old, who crossed the border from Mexico illegally last month, did not have a constitutional right to an elective abortion in federal custody, unless it was a medical emergency.
Chutkan, an Obama administration nominee, said the government appeared to be presenting the teenager identified in court papers as “Jane Doe” with two options: Voluntarily return to a nation she fled to procure an abortion, or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
“I am astounded by that position,” Chutkan said in a 40-minute hearing that was mostly consumed by a back-and-forth between the judge and Scott Stewart, a deputy assistant attorney general.
She ordered the government to transport the teenager to have the procedure — or allow her guardian to transport her — “promptly and without delay.”
Stewart told the judge that pregnant undocumented minors from other countries are not entitled to abortions, and said in court records that opening the door to that right “would significantly infringe on the government’s interests in preserving life and protecting national boundaries.”
“I respectfully disagree that she’s entitled to an abortion” facilitated by the government, he said, noting that the girl’s case was not a medical emergency. In court filings, the government said it has “strong and constitutionally legitimate interests in promoting childbirth, in refusing to facilitate abortion, and in not providing incentives for pregnant minors to illegally cross the border to obtain elective abortions while in federal custody.”
The head of a leading pro-life group told LifeNews.com she is upset by the ruling.
“Today’s ruling is outrageous and sets a dangerous precedent,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services took a simple position that it would protect the life and dignity of the teenage girl and her unborn child while in their care. Shame on this judge for overruling compassionate care and instead mandating that the U.S. government help facilitate an abortion for a teenage girl.
“This ruling plays into the broader agenda of the ACLU, which is recklessly exploiting a teenage girl in order to make the United States a sanctuary state for abortion. We urge the Justice Department to appeal this ruling.”
Earlier this year under President Donald Trump’s administration, the Office of Refugee Resettlement issued a new policy requiring that taxpayer-funded shelters for immigrants and refugees offer life-affirming support to women and girls who are pregnant, according to Slate, a pro-abortion news site.
Office Director Scott Lloyd, a Trump nominee, said the shelters may not take “any action that facilitates” an abortion for unaccompanied minors without his direct approval.
Lloyd said that “grantees should not be supporting abortion services … only pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling.”
The ACLU responded by filing a lawsuit against the government this summer. The pro-abortion legal group recently asked to add the 17-year-old girl’s case to their lawsuit, but Beeler refused Wednesday, ruling that the cases were not related enough, Courthouse News reports.
The ACLU’s lawsuit challenges the taxpayer funding that religious-based shelters receive to provide care for unaccompanied minor immigrants and refugees. The pro-abortion legal group has a problem with the religious shelters that do not promote or provide abortions or contraception.
Government lawyers argued that the 17-year-old girl’s case should not be added to the lawsuit because the girl is staying at a shelter that is not religiously affiliated, according to the report.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a pro-life advocate, also argued 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 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.”
The ACLU claims the federal office violated the girl’s constitutional rights by refusing to help her get an abortion through the taxpayer-funded shelter in Texas.
According to the report, the shelter took the girl to a pro-life pregnancy resource center instead. The ACLU said the girl 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.
It appears that the girl still is at the shelter and still is pregnant. A spokesperson for the Office of Refugee Resettlement said the girl and her unborn baby are receiving excellent care at the shelter.
The new Trump administration policy is a stark contrast to pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s administration, which mandated that unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children be given access to abortion at taxpayer-funded shelters. The Obama Administration also put abortion ahead of human trafficking victims by denying grants to Catholic charities because they wouldn’t help victims get abortions.