The ACLU has taken the Trump administration to court over its new policy of preventing young immigrant women from having abortions they want. The ACLU represents a 17-year-old woman who came to the United States without her parents and who is currently residing in a government-funded shelter in Texas. The Trump administration will not allow her to leave the shelter in order to get an abortion.
Because Texas law requires parental consent or a judicial waiver before a minor may obtain an abortion, our client went to court with the assistance of an attorney and an appointed guardian and obtained the necessary judicial waiver. The judge granted her legal authority to obtain an abortion, but the federal government has stepped in to block her from being transported to a clinic. They instead required her to visit a religiously affiliated “Crisis Pregnancy Center” to undergo counseling to continue the pregnancy, and she was required to have a sonogram conducted by non-medical personnel against her will. The government has taken the position that young women like her have no right to have an abortion.
In addition to seeking emergency relief for the woman, the ACLU has asked the court to declare the Trump Administration’s policy of obstructing young women’s abortions declared unconstitutional because unfortunately, our client is not the only unaccompanied minor who has recently experienced obstruction to abortion access at the hands of federal officials. In one case, a young woman was forcibly sent to an emergency room after she’d taken the abortion pill to try to prevent her from completing the abortion. In another case, Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd personally visited a young woman who was seeking abortion to attempt to dissuade her from her decision.