A federal judge in California refused to hear a case slated for Wednesday deciding whether the state of Texas must help a teenage illegal immigrant obtain an abortion.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler said she couldn’t hear the case because the girl — who remains anonymous for privacy reasons — is in Texas rather than the state of California. A judge in another state does not have jurisdiction to rule on the case she said, according to the Texas Tribune.
Even though the 17-year-old illegal immigrant received a judicial waiver allowing her — a minor — to get an abortion, the officers detaining her refused to take her to an abortion clinic American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer, Rochelle Garza, told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
“I feel like they are trying to coerce me to carry my pregnancy to term,” the girl told a federal court earlier in October, explaining that she was taken to a crisis pregnancy center instead of an abortion clinic.
In taking her case to court, the girl and the ACLU hope to get an emergency court order from a judge that will allow the girl to have an abortion. (Related: Teenage Illegal Immigrant Crosses Border To Get Abortion. Now It’s Up To A Judge If She Can.)
“The government has no business blocking Jane Doe’s abortion,” said the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri in a Wednesday statement. “Today’s District Court ruling comes as a serious disappointment, because it delays Jane Doe’s abortion even further,” Amiri added.
Numerous Texas authorities feel differently however. Illegal immigrants do not have a constitutional right to abortion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement on Tuesday. Ruling in the girl’s favor “will create a right to abortion for anyone on earth who enters the U.S. illegally,” Paxton said. “And with that right, countless others undoubtedly would follow. Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions,” he added.
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