- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

An illegal immigrant teen who fought a major battle with the Trump administration over abortion rights had her abortion Wednesday, less than a day after an appeals court gave her permission.

Pro-life activists said they feared the case could lead to abortion on demand for noncitizens including illegal immigrants, who could try to come to the U.S. to avoid stricter laws in their home countries.

But lawyers for the 17-year-old girl, identified only as “J.D.” in court documents, said her abortion was a victory for individual liberties.

“My lawyers have told me that people around the country have been calling and writing to show support for me,” J.D. said in a statement. “I am touched by this show of love from people I may never know and from a country I am just beginning to know — to all of you, thank you.”

The girl came to the U.S. without any family as part of the surge of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that have streamed to the U.S. in the last five years, taking advantage of lax border enforcement.

Without parents in the U.S., and with the only relative she has here refusing to sponsor her, J.D. was put into a government-contracted shelter in Texas, where a medical exam confirmed her pregnancy.

She did not want to ask her parents back home for permission for an abortion, which is required under Texas law, so she got a state judge’s permission instead. She also had private financing for the procedure.

But the Trump administration argued that since she was an illegal immigrant, they would still have to have staff accompany her and provide care after the abortion, meaning the government would spend taxpayer money to facilitate an elective abortion. They said that violated federal law.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected those arguments Tuesday, arguing the girl had a constitutional right to an abortion even as an illegal immigrant, and the government was standing in her way.

Their ruling cleared the way for a district judge to order J.D. to be free to have the abortion as soon as possible.

“This is an appalling and unconscionable misuse of taxpayer dollars,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life.

“It threatens to conjure a so-called right to immediate abortion on demand from the U.S. Constitution, and to recast America, which has historically aspired to be a haven and place of refuge for the most vulnerable, into a destination for abortions,” she said.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the abortion was tragic and may have been avoidable.

“This ruling not only cost a life, it could pave the way for anyone outside the United States to unlawfully enter and obtain an abortion. Life and the Constitution are sacred. We lost some of both today,” said Mr. Paxton, noting the Justice Department “failed to appeal” to the Supreme Court before the abortion occurred.

“Even the Obama administration’s Department of Justice acknowledged that unlawfully present aliens without substantial connections to the country lack the same constitutional rights as citizens.”

Mr. Paxton led a coalition of 12 other state attorneys general who signed on to an amicus brief they planned to file with the Supreme Court had the case reached the high court.

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