Trump Asks Supreme Court to Block Illegal Immigrant From Having Abortion
The girl is 17 and around 10 weeks pregnant.
President Donald Trump has asked the Supreme Court to intervene in a case involving a pregnant minor seeking an abortion, The Hill reported Tuesday. His request is the latest move in a saga surrounding two pregnant teens who came to the U.S. illegally.
The two teens are currently in federal custody. Which state they are in is unknown. The state does allow them to receive abortions without parental consent, the Associated Press reported. But their case has revived a debate between the Trump administration and abortion advocates.
Flashback to Texas
The issue was recently hashed in Texas. In September, teen “Jane Doe” was detained after entering Texas illegally. In a federal shelter, she discovered she was pregnant and requested an abortion. Under a new federal policy, the head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) must approve requests for abortions from women in its care. The ORR is a division of the Health and Human Services Department.
In September, ORR director Scott Lloyd denied the girl’s request for an abortion. The ACLU took up her case. The U.S. government argued in court that it is not required to facilitate abortions for illegal immigrants in its custody. But a federal appeals court ruled Doe could get an abortion. She did in October, around 16 weeks into her pregnancy.
The ACLU is now representing the two girls currently seeking abortions.
Federal Court Siding With Teens
On Monday an Obama-appointed federal judge sided with the girls. One, “Jane Roe,” 17, is about 10 weeks along in her pregnancy. The other, “Jane Poe,” is about 22 weeks along, AP reports. The Trump administration appealed the judge’s decision regarding Roe.
Now the administration is asking the Supreme Court to weigh in. According to the Hill, the U.S. government wants at least two weeks to vet the sponsor appointed for Roe. By assuming custody of Roe, a sponsor could solve the dilemma. They could enable Roe to receive an abortion, but without the federal government facilitating it.
The Trump administration did not appeal the court’s decision regarding Poe. On Tuesday, a federal judge lifted the 24-hour order preventing her from getting an abortion.
Has the Way Been Paved?
After Doe in Texas received her abortion in October, the state’s attorney general Ken Paxton warned that a bad pattern could follow.
“This ruling not only cost a life,” Paxton said. “It could pave the way for anyone outside the United States to unlawfully enter and obtain an abortion.”
In a draft brief he planned to submit to the Supreme Court had the case gone that far, Paxton argued that “there will be no meaningful limit on the constitutional rights an unlawfully-present alien can invoke simply by attempting to enter this country.”
In an email to the AP, Lloyd said HHS facilities “should not be supporting abortion services pre or post-release.” He said they should offer “life-affirming options counseling.”