WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union prevailed in court today on behalf of a young woman in Texas who has been prevented from accessing abortion care by the Trump administration.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement has prevented a 17-year-old, who is being held at a shelter for unaccompanied immigrant minors in Texas, from getting an abortion. The ACLU challenged the obstruction and the judge has ordered that the young woman be permitted to get the abortion she decided on and requested weeks ago.
"At last, our client will be able to get the care she needs without federal officials standing in the way," said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "Her courage and perseverance are incredible, but no one should have to go to court to get a safe, legal abortion. And no one should be held hostage to the extreme anti-abortion views of a handful of government officials."
"Janes everywhere are rejoicing that their dignity and humanity have been recognized and respected by the federal court," said Susan Hays, legal director of Jane’s Due Process, a legal referral source for teens facing unintended pregnancies in Texas.
The emergency order issued by the federal court today pertains specifically to the young woman. The ACLU has also asked the court to strike down the government’s underlying policy preventing young immigrant women like her from obtaining abortion care if they want one.
On Monday, Members of Congress sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services asking for answers about ORR's treatment of the ACLU’s client and other unaccompanied immigrant minors.
Attorneys on the case include Amiri, Meagan Burrows, and Daniel Mach from the ACLU; Arthur Spitzer and Scott Michelman of the ACLU of the District of Columbia; Jennifer Chou and Mishan R. Wroe of the ACLU of Northern California; and Melissa Goodman of the ACLU of Southern California.
More information about the case is at: https://www.aclu.org/cases/garza-v-hargan-challenge-trump-administrations-attempts-block-abortions-young-immigrant-women
Garza v. Hargan complaint is at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/garza-v-hargan-complaint-injunctive-relief-and-damages