Texas Bishops Call The Decision “Unconscionable”
A legal battle over abortion was resolved today as Jane Doe, an undocumented immigrant, was allowed to get an adoption earlier today.
Jane Doe had been detained in Texas in September for illegally entering the United States. She discovered she was pregnant when she was detained. She decided to have an abortion. Texas law stated that she would need to receive consent from an adult because she was 17. She was represented by the ACLU and had received permission to terminate the pregnancy. This was then overturned by a 3 judge panel. It was then sent to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals where a 6-3 decision allowed her to obtain the abortion.
BREAKING: Justice prevailed today for Jane Doe. She was able to get an abortion early this morning. #JusticeforJane
— ACLU (@ACLU) October 25, 2017
This occurred because the Trump administration overturned access for refugee to be given access to abortion. The Office of Refugee Resettlement, run by Scott Llyod, a former member of the Catholic organization Knights of Columbus has been pushing “life-affirming” policies for refugees and undocumented immigrants. This includes consulting a woman to keep the child and Director Llyod has personally gone to visit expecting mothers to pressure them to complete the pregnancy. Jane Doe stated that after listening to the life affirming consuling she still wanted to have the abortion. “I made my decision, and that is between me and God.”
Religious organizations, taking strident public positions, criticized the decision. The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops defended the government’s attempts to block the decision “for defending the life of an innocent unborn child.” Additionally they stated that No one — the government, private individuals or organizations — should be forced to be complicit in abortion.”
Abortion and immigration have been two divise issues that have split the United States along both political and religious affliations. While Jane Doe and the ACLU have been triumphant it does not end the legal battle. The federal policy of providing abortion is now being sued in a class action lawsuit with Jane Doe as the primary plaintiff. Litigation will begin in December.