More ethical questions are being raised about the pro-abortion attorneys whose young client, an illegal immigrant minor, says she no longer wants an abortion.
The young girl, “Jane Doe,” 14, is pregnant and staying in a government-run shelter in Texas. Though she initially expressed thoughts about having an abortion, attorneys for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement said she no longer wants one.
“At this time I have changed my decision to have an abortion,” the young woman said, according to the court filing. “The people I saw yesterday were lawyers that made me sign, I … do not need their help because I do not want to have an abortion.”
Her attorneys, Rochelle Garza and Myles Garza, however, are questioning the HHS’s reports about the girl’s wishes. They also have represented other illegal immigrant minors who want abortions. They and the ACLU have been fighting to force the government to use tax dollars to help facilitate abortions for illegal immigrant minors in government custody.
This week, Margot Cleveland at The Federalist reported new concerns about the Garza’s ethical behavior regarding Doe’s case and Texas parental consent laws.
Marc Rylander, the Director of Communications for the Texas Attorney General’s office, confirmed [Monday] in a statement that its office “opened an investigation into this situation after reading public reports indicating a possible abuse of the judicial bypass law.” Rylander added that they “will continue to be vigilant any time the lives of mothers and children are at stake.”
A judicial bypass allows underage girls to request permission for an abortion from a judge, rather than a parent. Pro-lifers long have believed that abortion activists abuse the judicial bypass exception, which is meant for young girls who come from abusive homes.
What is being questioned in Doe’s case involves the Garza’s close relationship to each other and to the pro-abortion group Jane’s Due Process, which “provides free legal representation to any minor seeking judicial bypass for an abortion,” according to the report.
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Under Texas law, a minor must have two separate attorneys, a guardian ad litem and an attorney ad litem, to represent her best interests, Cleveland explained. She continued: “The primary duty of the guardian ad litem is to seek a court ruling consistent with the guardian’s assessment of the best interest of the minor. The attorney ad litem is obligated to seek the objective desired by the client, regardless of his or her assessment of the consistency of that objective with the minor’s best interest.”
The report continues:
While the appointment of law partners may not technically violate the text of the law, it clearly violates the spirit of the law. And the entire scenario is extremely sketchy: A “barely 14-year-old” girl reaches out to an organization for help in obtaining a judicial bypass to parental notification. Jane’s Due Process promotes itself as having “a network of referral attorneys across Texas,” “trained to take judicial bypass cases,” and informs girls that “[i]f you want to apply for a judicial bypass, we will automatically assign you one of our attorneys.” Doe is directed to the Garza & Garza law firm, and then Rochelle is appointed her guardian ad litem — “to represent the best interest of the minor” — while her partner-in-law is to do Doe’s bidding, except in this case, he doesn’t because Doe no longer wants an abortion.
Jane’s Due Process seems bent on circumventing the parental notification provisions by referring girls to attorneys who will advocate for a judicial bypass.
Judge Edith Jones also expressed skepticism about the Garzas pursuing Doe’s best interests. She said a neutral guardian ad litem should be appointed to determine whether an abortion really is in the girl’s best interests.
“Doe is a pawn in a fight for control over the federal government’s relationship with unaccompanied alien children who are in custody because they haven’t been legally admitted to the United States,” Jones wrote.
Doe is scheduled to meet privately with a federal judge to find out if she still wants an abortion or if, as HHS attorneys’ documents show, she has chosen life for her unborn baby, according to the report.
This is not the first concern about unethical behavior on the part of pro-abortion attorneys. In November, the Trump administration said attorneys for the ACLU deceived the government in another high profile case involving a pregnant illegal immigrant minor. The government said the attorneys misled them about when the illegal immigrant’s abortion was scheduled, preventing the government from appealing.