Detained teenager obtains abortion after legal battle with Trump administration
The unaccompanied 17-year-old girl being held in custody in a Texas detention center, who Trump officials had attempted to bar from obtaining an abortion, terminated her pregnancy Wednesday morning, her lawyers said.
Jane Doe, as she is referred to in court documents to protect her identity, had gotten the judicial waiver that Texas requires from minors seeking abortions without a parent’s consent or notification, but officials at the Brownsville location where she is being detained had refused to transport her to an abortion clinic.
“People I don’t even know are trying to make me change my mind,” Doe said in a statement provided by the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday. “I made my decision and that is between me and God. Through all of this, I have never changed my mind.”
The teenager’s procedure took place one day after a Washington appeals court ordered Trump administration officials to allow the abortion to happen. Previously, a three-judge panel had said that the girl could get an abortion, but only if she were to find a sponsor. The case was especially urgent, as Texas bans abortions after 20 weeks.
Though it granted Doe permission to move forward with her abortion, the court’s ruling only applied to her case, and not to other unaccompanied minors in similar situations. The court battle over the larger issue is ongoing, with the ACLU charging that Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, has been personally intervening and counseling unaccompanied minors to encourage them carry their pregnancies to term.
For her part, Doe said that she hopes to get the opportunity to study and, one day, become a nurse.
“No one should be shamed for making the right decision for themselves,” she said in her statement. “I would not tell any other girl in my situation what they should do. That decision is hers and hers alone.”