By Steve Dellar  |  10-21-2017   News
Photo credit: Subbotina | Dreamstime

A US appeals court from the District of Columbia Circuit panel, prevented an illegal immigrant teenager (who is currently detained in Texas and 15 weeks pregnant) from undergoing an urgent abortion procedure.

The panel of judges was made up of three people, two Republican appointed and one Democrat.

The Democrat judge, Ms Patricia Milett, did not agree with her fellow judges. She wrote: "What reason does the federal government offer for taking over her decision completely and forcing her to continue an unwanted pregnancy that Texas law permits her to terminate? None that remotely qualifies under the Constitution, or that even makes sense."

The decision does leave the possibility for the US government to approve a sponsor for the girl, who can help the 17-year-old get the procedure without the government's assistance. The deadline for this is 31 October.

Should the US Department of Health and Human Services agree on someone or some company being her sponsor, she "will be lawfully able, if she chooses, to obtain an abortion on her own."

The girl entered the United States without any family beginning of last month near the Mexico-Texas border and was immediately arrested by the border patrol operating in the area. Two days later, she was placed in a shelter.

Through counselling at the shelter, she had written and obtained a Texas court order to approve an abortion procedure as she is under 18. The sonogram and consultation had already been scheduled with a physician (as is required under Texas state law).

However, when informed of this, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a governmental control arm of the Department of Health and Human Services, refused to let her leave the detention centre to carry out the procedure.

She then asked for a ruling from a federal judge in Washington, who indeed agreed that the abortion procedure could go ahead. However, at the last moment the government obtained a temporary order blocking the decision until the appeals court ruled, which has now happened, refusing the girl from obtaining an abortion.

Source:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-texas-abortion-court/u-s-court-blocks-immigrant-teens-bid-to-obtain-abortion-idUSKBN1CP2L1

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