We reported in October that Scott Lloyd, the anti-choice activist Trump chose to head the Office of Refugee Settlement, was denying safe abortions to young immigrant women. It seems now the matter is getting worse, as two 17-year-old girls are fighting the government to get their Constitutionally guaranteed access to care.
The young girls, only identified in court documents as Jane Roe and Jane Poe, are determined to get abortions yet are being denied the procedure. If they don’t get it soon, they will “be pushed further into their pregnancies, increasing the risks associated with the abortion procedure,” according to a memorandum filed in court by the ACLU.
Defendants’ actions have already caused Ms. Roe to delay her abortion by several weeks. Ms. Poe is in her second trimester of pregnancy and is quickly approaching the point at which abortion will no longer be option; accordingly any further delay (however minimal) risks stripping her of her constitutional right to abortion. Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court prohibit Defendants from forcing these minors to remain pregnant against their will any longer.
The ACLU is using the same arguments that worked for the case of Jane Doe, the 17-year-old girl who was caught trying to cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico. When she asked for an abortion, and a non-profit group offered to pay for it, the Trump administration still said no. Fortunately, she was able to get the procedure one day after a court ruling forced the government to allow it.
The Trump administration doesn’t seem to have learned its lesson. It is still denying safe abortions to young girls who come to this country without parents, and any delay in this kind of a situation is unacceptable considering the risks associated with later-term abortions.
Like Plaintiff Jane Doe before them, Ms. Roe and Ms. Poe face irreparable harm if they are not granted the relief they seek. Each day that goes by is another day that Ms. Roe and Ms. Poe are forced by Defendants to remain pregnant against their will. Although abortion is safe throughout pregnancy, the risks do increase as the pregnancy advances. The irreparable harm to Ms. Roe and Ms. Poe will only increase if Defendants are permitted to continue to block them from exercising their right, to the point where they are forced to carry to term against their will.
The federal government doesn’t seem to care, even telling the New York Times that it “does not believe we are required to facilitate the abortion.”
Let’s forget for a second that Lloyd was appointed with little-to-no-experience with refugees, and that he is a fervent anti-choice activist, and that it is the job of the government to provide health care to unaccompanied minors in these situations. This is about one simple thing: these young girls’ lives.
By forcing them to delay their abortions, the Trump administration is endangering the lives of these children. And considering the ACLU (eventually) won its last case, all the government is doing is delaying when the abortions will take place, putting the girls at further risk of problems.
There’s nothing “pro-life” about that.
(Image via Shutterstock)