The Trump administration stated on Tuesday that pregnant illegal immigrants have no right to abortion in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made it clear that illegal minors do not have the right to abortion because they are not U.S. citizens. “The Office of Refugee Resettlement is providing excellent care to this young woman and her unborn child and fulfilling our duty to the American people. There is no constitutional right for a pregnant minor to illegally cross the U.S. border and get an elective abortion while in federal custody,” the Administration for Children and Families said in a a statement according to Politico. “We cannot cede our responsibility to care for minors and their babies by releasing them to ideological advocacy groups,” the HHS added.
The HHS statement comes after a federal judge in California refused to hear a case last week deciding whether the state of Texas must help a teenage illegal immigrant obtain an abortion. “The government has no business blocking Jane Doe’s abortion,” said Amiri after the judge’s refusal. (Related: Judge Refuses To Hear Case On Teenage Illegal Immigrant Who Wants An Abortion).
“There is a pattern of unconstitutional overreach of power in a minor’s abortion decision,” said one of the teen’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers, Brigitte Amiri, in response to HHS’s announcement.
The ACLU’s original lawsuit posited that the HHS violated the First Amendment by refusing the girl an abortion. 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, according to the Associated Press. The ACLU hoped to get an emergency court order from a judge allowing the girl to have an abortion.
Illegal immigrants do not have a constitutional right to abortion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in regard to the case. Ruling in the girl’s favor would “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.”
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