Undocumented Teen Finally Gets Abortion After Month-Long Fight With Trump Administration

A court ordered the administration to allow the minor, who’s being held at a federal shelter, to obtain the procedure.

Activists with Planned Parenthood demonstrate in support of a pregnant 17-year-old seeking an abortion who's being held in a Texas facility for unaccompanied immigrant children.J. Scott Applewhite/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

The undocumented minor who’s been fighting for her constitutional right to an abortion finally underwent the procedure on Wednesday morning after the government tried to stop her for more than a month. This comes after an appeals court ordered the Trump administration yesterday to allow the teen, who’s been referred to as Jane Doe and is being held in a federal refugee shelter in Texas, to get the procedure.

“I was placed in a shelter for children,” Doe wrote in a statement released today. “It was there that I was told I was pregnant. I knew immediately what was best for me then, as I do now—that I’m not ready to be a parent.”

Even after she obtained private funding, transportation, and a court order, the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement for weeks refused to allow Doe to leave the shelter for her abortion. Texas has a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and Doe was about 16 weeks along by the time she was able to get the procedure.

In court, lawyers for the Justice Department had argued that her confinement to the shelter didn’t constitute a substantial obstacle to obtaining an abortion because she was free to return to her home country for the procedure. 

“Justice prevailed today for Jane Doe,” Brigitte Amiri, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project who worked on the case, said in a statement. “But make no mistake about it, the Administration’s efforts to interfere in women’s decisions won’t stop with Jane. With this case we have seen the astounding lengths this administration will go to block women from abortion care.”

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate