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DC court wrestles with immigrant teen's access to abortion

DC court wrestles with immigrant teen's access to abortion”

The case involves a pregnant undocumented 17-year-old now being held in a government-funded shelter in South Texas.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled on Wednesday that the government must allow Jane Doe to go to a pre-abortion counseling appointment and obtain the procedure "promptly and without delay" either Friday or Saturday. "Shame on this judge for overruling compassionate care and instead mandating that the USA government help facilitate an abortion for a teenage girl". This is the second hearing this case has seen in the District, and the third total.

Kavanaugh...seemed eager to make this case go away. It's unclear when the Court of Appeals will issue its ruling, or what Kavanaugh will decide to do: The panel could in fact order the case back to Judge Chutkan for some finding of fact, running the clock down a bit more and avoiding any definitive decision. But in March, HHS announced that all federally funded shelters are prohibited from taking "any action that facilitates" access to abortion by unaccompanied minors.

An appeals court on Thursday temporarily stayed a judge's ruling that would have allowed a pregnant 17-year-old being held in a Texas facility for unaccompanied immigrant children to obtain an abortion.

"Ms. Doe has the option of voluntary departure", Catherine Dorsey, a Justice Department attorney representing the Trump administration, told a three-judge panel, referring to the teen's Jane Doe pseudonym in legal filings.

"How could you not take a position on that?" After the victory for abortion rights in the U.S. Supreme Court's Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt decision, Texas continues to push for more restrictions.

U.S. Circuit Judge Patricia Millet meanwhile noted that Doe has a court-appointed guardian ad litem to protect her interests. Neither the government's lawyer nor the lawyer defending Doe provided the answer, though they agreed the current process would be lengthy, requiring background checks and house visits that could possibly take months.

The teen, whose name and country of origin have been withheld because she's a minor, has already received a state court order permitting her to have the abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union's legal director in Texas, Andre Segura, says via Twitter that the case stems from "extremists" who have joined the federal government and want to "impose personal religious beliefs on others".

Federal and state officials have said that because of the young woman's immigration status, she has no inherent right to an elective abortion in the U.S. Doe's lawyers are not asking the government to pay for the procedure or arrange the transportation.

The Obama administration permitted young women in Jane Doe's position to get abortions.

The lawyer also took issue with the government's argument that it is acting in Doe's "best interest".

"The government has not put any obstacle in her path", Dorsey said.

"What they are actually doing is supplanting their decision about what J.D. should do with her pregnancy", Amiri said, abbreviating Jane Doe. Millett asked, to no response.

Now 15 weeks pregnant, the girl has secured outside funding for the abortion, and has obtained state permission to get the abortion - a requirement for any minor in Texas who does not have parental permission for an abortion procedure.

The fate of an undocumented minor seeking an abortion in Texas remains in limbo as a USA appeals court in Washington, D.C., heard arguments from both sides Friday.

Kavanaugh also pointed out that adult women in immigration detention centers who are pregnant have access to abortions, a difference from juveniles.

"12. I am hopeful to obtain an abortion as soon as possible".

Under a new policy of the appeals court, live access to the audio of the hearing was provided on the court's website following a request.

Before the ACLU sued in Washington on the teen's behalf last week, it tried to add Doe to a 2016 case in California where the group is fighting to keep religiously affiliated shelters from imposing their anti-abortion stance on minors.



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