In another of many manifestations of its cruelty, the Trump administration has tried to ban undocumented teens from receiving abortions that they need. According to a report by Buzzfeed News, it was recently shot down by a district court judge. While it’s a victory, it’s helpful to look at the flawed logic the Department of Justice tried to use to prop up its case:
“In each of the cases pertaining to the four undocumented, pregnant teenagers, the Justice Department argued on behalf of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), saying that ‘declining to authorize abortions’ does not impose an ‘undue burden’ on the women’s abortion access, and is therefore not unconstitutional.”
In short, the Department of Justice was saying that the pregnant minors in question still had access to abortions, and that the DOJ hadn’t interfered with that access – even if it declined to take people in its custody to an appointment to receive an abortion.
According to the report, the only option the teens had was to find a sponsor to help them get an abortion or return to their home countries. Not to mention that every day of being tossed around like a political football is another day of gestation of a fetus they do not want.
Furthermore, it’s surprising that an administration like Trump’s – with it’s known animus towards “anchor babies” would be so insistent that pregnant undocumented teens carry babies to full term who would fit that derogatory description.
Luckily, Judge Chutkan saw right through it.
“DC District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan granted the ACLU’s request to have the lawsuit considered a ‘class action,’ meaning that the judge’s ruling will apply to every pregnant, undocumented minor seeking an abortion while in US custody, rather than on a case-by-case basis with each teen.”
The ACLU has stated that they are “relieved,” but there’s still a long way to go. Chutkan’s ruling will still have to stand up to appeals, should the DOJ pursue it. However, the ruling is still a victory for undocumented pregnant teens everywhere.
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