- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Another illegal immigrant teen went to court Thursday to demand the government facilitate her access to an abortion, adding to the pressure on a judge to declare teen girls a legal class deserving of special protections.

Identified in court documents by the pseudonym Jane Moe, the girl is being held at a government-contracted shelter for Unaccompanied Alien Children.

She said she asked the shelter to facilitate her abortion two weeks ago and the shelter submitted the request to the Trump administration, which hasn’t given her approval.

“I would like to obtain an abortion as soon as possible,” the teen said in a sworn affidavit translated to her so she could understand it.

She’s the fourth girl to come forward as part of a class action lawsuit trying to demand the government facilitate abortions for what the teens say in court papers is a surge of pregnant migrants.

The Trump administration says facilitating abortions except in cases of rape, incest or of where the life of the mother is in danger, violates federal law.

The federal Health and Human Services Department, which under the law is required to oversee the care of UAC, says the teens could agree to return to their home countries where they can take advantage of whatever rights they’re afforded. The teens could also be taken in by a sponsor here in the U.S., where they are outside government control.

“The Jane in this case, Jane Moe — who entered the country illegally — has the option to voluntarily depart to her home country or find a suitable sponsor. If she chooses not to exercise these options, HHS does not believe we are required to facilitate Jane Moe’s abortion, out of concern and responsibility for the mother’s best interests,” the department said in a statement.

A federal judge has taken a dim view of the government’s arguments in the case of previous girls, and ordered the administration to facilitate the abortion.

An appeals court panel initially overturned the judge, but then the full appeals court reversed that ruling and backed the judge.

The administration has asked the Supreme Court to step in.

Details about the teens are tough to come by but at least one of them came from Mexico, where abortion access is limited. The surge of teen UAC seeking abortions in the U.S. has raised fears that they are using lax U.S. immigration enforcement to circumvent their own country’s laws.

Democrats on Capitol Hill have blasted the administration for its approach to the issue, and demanded HHS officials be called to testify about their policy.

The Democrats said the Constitution applies to the illegal immigrant teens, who have the same right to an abortion as anyone else on U.S. soil.


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