Two illegal immigrant teenagers want the federal government to let them have abortions.
The two 17-year-olds — called Jane Roe and Jane Poe in court documents– are 10 weeks and 22 weeks pregnant, respectively, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers representing them in a court case. Roe is in the process of obtained a U.S. sponsor who will fund the abortion, the Washington Post reported.
The teens are currently in custody.
The teens’ lawyers argue it would be unconstitutional to prevent the illegal immigrants from getting abortions, saying it takes away their right about whether they want to become parents. “We’ve already stopped the Trump administration from blocking one young woman’s abortion,” Brigitte Amiri, a senior ACLU staff attorney, said in a statement. “It’s unreal that the federal government is trying to force more young women to continue their pregnancies against their will.”
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) “has strong and constitutionally legitimate interests in promoting its interest in life, in refusing to facilitate abortion, and in not providing incentives for pregnant minors to illegally cross the border to obtain elective abortions while in federal custody,” said a federal government defense attorney.
DHHS lawyers maintain that not only should the illegal immigrants be prevented from obtaining abortions, but also that teenagers are not capable of making such mature decisions.
“There has been no judicial determination that either Ms. Roe or Ms. Poe, both 17-year-old minors, are sufficiently mature to make their abortion decision,” government lawyers say.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan will preside over the hearing for this case.
Chutkan ruled in late October that pregnant illegal immigrant Jane Doe — whose was in custody in Texas — could get an abortion, according to Politico. The girl, 17, crossed the border illegally and was roughly 15 weeks pregnant when she had her abortion on Oct. 25. (RELATED: JANE DOE: ‘I FEEL GOOD’ About Decision To Get Abortion)
“No court has ever before recognized such broad rights for unlawfully present aliens with virtually no connections to the country,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, wrote in a legal brief, according to Dallas News. “Under the reasoning of the courts below, there will be no meaningful limit on the constitutional rights an unlawfully present alien can invoke simply by attempting to enter this country.” (RELATED: Texas AG Asks SCOTUS To Repeal Jane Doe Decision Weeks After She Has Abortion)
Court documents show that there were 420 pregnant girls in custody during the 2017 fiscal year, WaPo reported.
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