U.S. rights group files for abortion
access for two more immigrants
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[December 16, 2017]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The American
Civil Liberties Union said it filed in federal court on Friday to stop
the administration of President Donald Trump from preventing two more
young immigrant women in federal custody from obtaining an abortion.
The move by the civil rights group in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia follows a high-profile legal fight involving a
17-year-old illegal immigrant who underwent an abortion in October a day
after an appeals court overruled the Trump administration's objections.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled on
Oct. 24 that the girl, whose name and nationality have not been
disclosed but was referred to as "Jane Doe" in court papers, could have
an abortion immediately, rejecting the administration's opposition.
The two young women in the latest legal action, known to the court as
Jane Roe and Jane Poe, requested abortions, but the U.S. Office of
Refugee Resettlement has refused to allow them access to the procedure,
the ACLU said in a statement.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for
The government alleged in a court filing in November that lawyers for
"Jane Doe" had misled the Justice Department over the timing of the
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The Justice Department said it had been about to appeal a lower
court decision in the girl's favor when it emerged on Oct. 25 that
she had had the abortion early that morning. It said "disciplinary
action may therefore be warranted" against the teen's lawyers at the
ACLU, who had told the government the girl was scheduled to have the
abortion a day later.
By quickly having the abortion, the girl prevented the
administration from potentially continuing the legal fight at the
conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court. She was about 15 weeks
The ACLU said in its Friday statement: "The government’s treatment
of these young women is part of a new policy by the Trump
administration to block access to abortion care for young immigrants
It said that the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging the policy, Garza v.
Hargan, has already documented egregious harms against other young
women in Office of Refugee Resettlement detention.
(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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