Yesterday, the federal appeals court in Washington, DC, ruled that Jane Doe, a 17-year-old immigrant woman in federal custody, had the right to obtain an abortion. This ended a month-long battle with the Trump administration, who repeatedly attempted to block her from terminating her pregnancy. While in a detention center for unaccompanied minors, Doe sought and received a judge’s permission to have an abortion without parental consent. Because the administration felt it perfectly acceptable to make this decision for her, they filed appeal after appeal to delay the abortion. Yet, a state judge, a federal judge, a panel of appeal judges and the full appeals court all said the same thing—Jane Doe is entitled to have the abortion she seeks and it’s absolutely none of the government’s business.
While many of us were worried that the administration would appeal the most recent decision and try to take an appeal to
Supreme Court, it turns out that our worries will not be realized—Jane Doe had her abortion this morning.
This is great news and is the justice that she absolutely deserved. It’s also still terrifying, considering the lengths that Trump’s appointees went to in order to try to force this woman into motherhood. From an email written by the head of Health and Human Services about the case, we know that the agency’s instructions were to try to prevent her from seeing her lawyers as well as to send her to spiritual and pro-life counseling to convince her not to abort. But the most compelling evidence comes from Jane’s own words: