United States appeals court says detained teen immigrant can have abortion


The 17-year-old is approximately 15 weeks pregnant, and is being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

[T] oday's decision rights a grave constitutional wrong by the government.

"They are holding her hostage to ensure that she does not have an abortion, but rather continues the pregnancy, and has a baby, against her will", the ACLU complaint reads. I made my decision and that is between me and God. "It just has to not interfere or make things harder", she wrote.

The order from the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit - without oral argument - reverses a decision last week from a three-judge panel of the same court that would have postponed the abortion for the 17-year-old who is being held in federal custody in Texas.

The case was sent back to a federal district judge, who hours later ordered the government to "promptly and without delay" transport the girl to an abortion provider, The Washington Post reported.

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a 6-3 order (PDF) that overturned an October 20 decision by a D.C. Circuit panel that had delayed the abortion, report Politico, BuzzFeed News and Reuters.

From there, the outcome was still up in the air. The full court's Tuesday ruling, Kavanaugh said, broke new constitutional ground by authorizing abortion on demand for undocumented minors. This ruling not only cost a life, it could pave the way for anyone outside the United States to unlawfully enter and obtain an abortion. In a statement, the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops said that "federal and Texas state officials are to be commended for defending the life of an innocent unborn child in a recent case involving an unaccompanied pregnant minor in federal immigration custody". However, her fate is still uncertain, as she is still being detained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. That is a term borrowed directly from anti-abortion activists.

The case revolved around the question of whether the federal government would facilitate an abortion for the teenager from Central America, known only as "Jane Doe". "I would not tell any other girl in my situation what they should do".

The young girl will now be able to get the abortion, unless the Trump administration decides to attempt to appeal the latest decision to the Supreme Court, which would have the final say if it chooses to hear the case. It's no wonder that many have framed Jane Doe's story as chillingly reminiscent of the The Handmaid's Tale's dystopian world, in which young, fertile women are forced to carry children and give birth under force. But the federal government is hell bent on preventing her from doing so and, instead, wants to force her to unwillingly have the baby. I knew immediately what was best for me then, as I do now - that I'm not ready to be a parent.

The report said one judge, Patricia Millett, who nominated by the radically pro-abortion Barack Obama, said the court today "correctly recognizes that J.D.'s unchallenged right under the Due Process Clause affords this 17-year-old a modicum of the dignity, sense of self-worth, and control over her own destiny that life seems to have so far denied her". That is cause for celebration. "Surely the mere act of entry into the United States without documentation does not mean that an immigrant's body is no longer her own".