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Undocumented teen speaks out after finally getting court-granted abortion
According the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which has legally represented the teen through the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, Doe was able to get the abortion procedure on Wednesday morning.
The procedure follows a weeks-long series of blockages, court orders, and appeals by the Justice Department. The teen, who arrived and was detained in Texas more than a month ago, found out she was pregnant while in custody at a children’s shelter. Though she actively made a decision to get an abortion, the Justice Department denied her release and travel, insisting she did not have the right to an abortion as an undocumented immigrant, and that it did not want to facilitate the procedure.
Last Wednesday, the department filed an appeal just hours after a federal judge ordered the government to allow Doe to attend and be transported to a state-mandated pre-abortion appointment and to the abortion procedure itself. While Doe’s abortion was scheduled for the following Friday or Saturday, on Friday a higher appeals court temporarily blocked the procedure and granted the department until the end of the month to find Doe a sponsor, so that she would no longer be in custody and could get the abortion on her own.
However, on Tuesday the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that Doe should be scheduled a new appointment for the abortion.
“With this case we have seen the astounding lengths this administration will go to block women from abortion care. We will not stop fighting until we have justice for every woman like Jane,” Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement.
In the ACLU statement, Jane Doe shared her own statement via her guardian, saying that her decision is “between me and God,” and that she never once changed her decision, despite the federal government taking her to a religious anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center to try and change her mind.
“No one should be shamed for making the right decision for themselves. I would not tell any other girl in my situation what they should do. That decision is hers and hers alone,” Doe wrote. “This is my life, my decision. I want a better future. I want justice.”
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.