WASHINGTON, D.C., October 24, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 6-3 today that the U.S. government must facilitate an abortion for a 17-year-old girl in the country illegally.
The teen, identified only as “Jane Doe” and backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has been battling the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services in court over whether she may abort her baby. The teen is in the custody of the U.S. government, which has connected her with life-affirming resources.
U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan initially ruled October 18 that the girl must be allowed to abort her baby “promptly and without delay.” The Department of Justice appealed the ruling, which the U.S. Court of Appeals then stayed.
Today’s ruling undoes that temporary victory. Pro-life advocates say it sets a “terrible precedent” that could be “Roe v. Wade 2.0” because it establishes a “right” to abortion on U.S. soil for illegal immigrants.
“A tragedy took place today as the full bench of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals put the partisan interests of abortion over a teenager's true needs for help,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “The United States should not become an abortion destination spot for the world. Shame on Planned Parenthood and the ACLU for using this teenager to try and create Roe v. Wade 2.0 in the courts.”
“Abortion advocates could have sponsored this girl and helped her get an abortion, as tragic as that would be, but instead they are using this teenager in a case to force taxpayer and government involvement in abortions for everyone, including illegal immigrants,” Hawkins explained.
The ruling today stated that the teen doesn’t need a sponsor in order to procure an abortion on U.S. soil.
“In this situation, the young woman has had ample opportunity to seek a sponsor and not involve federal resources, so there is no legal or practical reason for this ruling,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, CEO and president of Americans United for Life.
“Allowing our taxpayers to be entangled in financing and facilitating an abortion for an undocumented teen sets a horrible precedent,” said Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America (CWA). “We do not want our nation to be known as a place where illegal immigrants can come in order to procure free abortions.”
“And let’s remember that abortion is not health care,” Nance continued. “If we want to talk about providing care for undocumented minors who cross our border, then let’s be honest about the fact that there were two lives that crossed our border. There is a fully formed, unborn baby whose life is on the line here. An ultrasound would show that he or she has easily recognizable fingers, toes, and eyes.”
CWA and the Susan B. Anthony List both released statements asking the Trump administration to appeal the decision.
Judge Patricia Millett wrote today that the decision “rights a grave constitutional wrong by the government.”
“Remember, we are talking about a child here,” Millett wrote, apparently without any awareness of her assertion's irony. “A child who is alone in a foreign land. A child who, after her arrival here in a search for safety and after the government took her into custody, learned that she is pregnant.”
“Jane Doe” is in Texas and is around 16 weeks pregnant, giving her another month or so to legally abort her child in that state.
Millett cited Supreme Court cases Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt as establishing “that the government may not put substantial and unjustified obstacles in the way of a woman’s exercise of her right to an abortion pre-viability.”