- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2017

A federal appeals court ordered the ACLU not to rush a pregnant 17-year-old illegal immigrant to an abortion clinic, with the judges saying Thursday they wanted more time to consider the case.

The order by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, stays a lower court’s order, issued Wednesday, that had said the girl could have the abortion either Friday or Saturday.

The girl is still to be taken for a counseling session Thursday as required under Texas law, where she is currently being held in a government-contracted shelter.

“The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the emergency motion for stay and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion,” the three-judge appeals panel said in its order.

The federal government argues that allowing her to have an abortion, even if the government doesn’t pay for it, means spending taxpayer dollars to send staff with her, and provide for follow-up medical care. That, the government says, violates federal law.

Texas is also battling against the abortion, arguing that if the girl is allowed to have one, it would turn Texas into “a sanctuary state for abortion,” and would effectively erase the line that reserves some constitutional rights for legal residents.

“The D.C. Circuit made the right decision to temporarily stay the district court’s order, which contradicts U.S. Supreme Court precedent and harms the public interest because it effectively creates a right to abortion for anyone who entered the U.S. illegally, no matter how briefly,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a brief filed in the case.

The girl — identified only as “J.D.” because she is a juvenile — illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico without her parents as part of the surge of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who have streamed into America in the last five years.

Under federal law she was processed by Homeland Security and quickly released to the Health and Human Services Department, which placed her in a government-run shelter to await a sponsor.

But after discovering she was pregnant, the girl sought an abortion. With her parents still in Mexico, and being unwilling to communicate with them, she obtained a judge’s permission for the procedure, using a bypass of parental consent allowed under Texas law.

The shelter, however, was still hindering her, refusing to take her to a clinic or to let her be taken by someone else.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued to force the issue since the girl is roughly 15 weeks pregnant, and the legal limit in Texas for an abortion is 20 weeks.

On Wednesday, District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan said she was “astounded” that the administration was trying to hinder the girl, and issued an order for “J.D.” to get the abortion.

“Despite the fact that she’s in this country illegally, she still has constitutional rights,” the judge said.

The case will go for oral argument at the appeals court Friday.

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