PUBLISHED: 9:22 PM 23 Oct 2017

DC Appeals Court Issues Insane Ruling, Illegal Immigrant’s Procedure Done “Without Delay”

Judge Patricia Millett thinks the US government owes illegal minors an abortion.

Judge Patricia Millett thinks the US government owes illegal minors an abortion.

Judge Patricia Millett thinks the US government owes illegal minors an abortion.

Judge Patricia Millett thinks the US government owes illegal minors an abortion.

This is the bizarre story of a 17-year-old undocumented teenager in America. She is from Central America and was caught attempting to illegally enter the country. She is being held in a special Texas detention facility for minors.

In cases like these, the government tries to find an adult relative already in the U.S. who can care for the minor. The twist is that she’s pregnant—15 weeks pregnant. A lower court judge already ruled that the government should provide the girl with an abortion– “without delay.”

However, on Friday, an appeals court in Washington D.C. did not support the lower court ruling. They say that the federal government is not obligated to provide the abortion. Instead, they want the Department of Health and Human Services (the agency responsible for undocumented minors) to take more time to find a sponsor to take custody of the girl. ACLU lawyers for the teen have already said they’ve had great difficulty finding a sponsor for her.

Child immigrant migration across the US border is out of control.

Child immigrant migration across the US border is out of control.

The stance of the Trump administration is opposite to that under the Obama administration. Trump says that the federal government should not provide abortions for undocumented minors in the custody of the United States government. The appeals court agreed with Trump and issued a 2-1 decision. In Texas, abortions are illegal after 20 weeks, so the teen will likely run out of time on her journey to end her pregnancy.

The two judges, Karen LeCraft Henderson and Brett M. Kavanaugh, were both nominated by Republican presidents, and said they did not want to issue a hasty decision because this case involves very complex abortion and immigration law. Dissenting Judge Patricia A. Millett wrote a strong dissent, condemning the ruling of her fellow judges as “wrong” and “unconstitutional.”

Millett wrote: ““There are no winners in cases like these. But there sure are losers. Forcing this girl to continue an unwanted pregnancy just in the hopes of finding a sponsor that has not been found in the past six weeks sacrifices constitutional liberty, autonomy, and personal dignity for no justifiable governmental reason.”

Millett says abortion is a constitutional right even if you're not a citizen of this country.

Millett says abortion is a constitutional right even if you’re not a citizen of this country.

ACLU lawyer Jennifer Dalven echoed similar sentiments on the girl’s behalf, saying that the U.S. government has already greatly inconvenienced the teen with “ weeks of delays, which the government has no business doing.” Huh?

Apparently the teen was caught in late September and soon learned that she was pregnant. The lower court said the girl “possesses a constitutional right to obtain an abortion in the United States”, even though she is here illegally. ACLU attorneys agree that the courts are obligated to protect the teen’s constitutional rights, and criticized the government for not acting in the girl’s best interest.

Attorney Brigitt Amiri said the government is “deciding for her about what she should do with her pregnancy.”

HHS’s official position is this, based on this statement from the Administration for Children and Families Office of Refugee Resettlement : “We will protect the well being of this minor and all children and their babies in our facilities, and we will defend human dignity for all in our care.”

The teen could still find a sponsor residing in the U.S. She could also voluntarily return to her home country and seek an abortion there, but abortion in her country is not legal. Authorities are trying to protect her privacy, so her actual country is not known, just that she is Central American.

HHS lawyer Catherine Dorsey says they’re not the bad guys. The agency is simply declining to facilitate an abortion, but that they are absolutely not putting any additional obstacles in the girl’s path. HHS actually approached two of the girl’s relatives in the U.S., but neither was willing to take responsibility. Starting over from the beginning could take time because the government does lengthy background checks on all potential sponsors to ensure the safety of the teen being placed in their care.

Adults in federal custody, like federal prison or immigration centers, can get abortions, but they must pay for the procedure. The Trump administration draws the line at giving minor children this decision. The teen has told federal authorities that her parents abused her, and because of that, she has the right to seek American asylum now that she is here.

Many unaccompanied minors cross the U.S. border.

Many unaccompanied minors cross the U.S. border.

The hearing on Friday was a landmark one for immigration law, so much so that the chief judge in the D.C. court, Judge Merrick Garland, allowed live streaming of the oral arguments. He hasn’t allowed that in 16 years.

A small group of protestors picketed in front of HHS on Friday with please for “justice for Jane.” ACLU lawyer Georgeanne Usova was one of them, and said their group was protesting to fight for every young woman in federal custody. “The constitutional right to abortion does not depend on your immigration status,” Usova said.