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Judge Rules Immigrant Teens Must Get Abortion Access “Promptly and Without Delay”

Back in October, an immigrant teen known as Jane Doe was allowed to get an abortion after more than a month of being held up by the Trump administration’s policy, which refused to facilitate it. Politico is now reporting that two other teens who are being used as pawns in a legal battle about undocumented minors being able to get abortions while they are in federal custody.

Both teens are 17 years old, one is 10 weeks pregnant, and the other is 22 weeks. Both of them came to the States without their parents and have private funding to cover their abortion, despite Justice Department lawyers’ insistence that their abortions would be “taxpayer facilitated.” They wrote in court filings that their department feels “strong and constitutionally legitimate interests in promoting its interest in life … and in not providing incentives for pregnant minors to illegally cross the border to obtain elective abortions while in federal custody.”

Judge Tanya Chutkan, who also oversaw Jane Doe’s case, thankfully can whiff the bullshit quite easily, and made the statement that, by continuing to block these young women from getting abortions now, they “will both suffer irreparable injury in the form of, at a minimum, increased risk to their health, and perhaps the permanent inability to obtain a desired abortion to which they are legally entitled.” Therefore, today, she has ordered the Trump administration to grant the two women abortions “promptly and without delay.”

What is especially frustrating about this case, besides just the fact that it’s screwing around with women’s health, is that the case is the true waste of taxpayer money and time. These teenagers are undocumented, yes, but they have the money to pay for their abortions, which is legal. Taxpayers would not be paying for this. However, the Department of Justice is using time and resources to argue a case that was decided two months ago. Jane Doe’s case is essentially the same, and it was already ruled in the favor of JD. So why are we continuing to go around in circles?

Brigitte Amiri of the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the layers working on the case for both girls, welcomed Chutkan’s latest ruling.

“The judge’s decision is a reminder that both the law and justice are on our side. We’ve already seen the courts rule in favor of Jane Doe, and today justice prevailed for two more young women like her,” Amiri said. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration has shown no indication that they’ll abandon their cruel and dystopian crusade to block abortion access for some of the most marginalized people in our country. We’re prepared to keep fighting for as long as we need to.”

It also seems so strange to me, for a party that wants to cut things like welfare and wants to deport undocumented people, to be so determined to have these teenagers give birth to kids in this country when they have (a) no family here and (b) no means to support them. “Pro-life” ideals that only extend to the unborn child, but take absolutely no consideration as to how that child’s life will turn out, are something I may not ever understand.

I simply hope that they will be able to get their abortions quickly and safely, especially with the young woman who is already at 22 weeks.

(via Jezebel, image: Rena Schild /

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.