On Tuesday, Jane Doe, a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant was finally granted access to an abortion, after an arduous battle with the Trump administration and federal court system. On Wednesday morning, Jane Doe left the Texas shelter where she was being closely surveilled, and had the abortion.
After being stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border, and finding out she was pregnant, Jane Doe tried to receive an abortion but was blocked by the Trump Administration. The administration cited a new policy in which it would be refusing to procure abortions for undocumented, unaccompanied minors. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represented her in court, taking the stance that her constitutional right to an abortion was being violated by the policy that the Trump Administration had invoked.
As of Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit had blocked Jane Doe’s right to obtain an abortion, but on Tuesday the same court reversed the decision without holding oral argument, an unusual turn of events. The case was sent back to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan who within hours granted Jane Doe’s right to an abortion.
Because of quick turnaround time between the ruling and the abortion, the Supreme Court, who the Justice Department thought about asking to intervene, did not have time to block the decision of the D.C. Circuit court.
Our Verdict: We are relieved that Jane Doe was granted her constitutional right to an abortion eventually, but the precedent has still been set regarding the Trump Administration’s policy regarding abortion for undocumented minors in federal custody. Because this policy was not fully disclosed or known, there is reason to believe many other harmful policies regarding undocumented immigrants have been reworked.