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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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