The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is seeking to prevent the Trump administration from blocking two undocumented immigrants from obtaining abortions.
The two women – known in court records as Jane Roe and Jane Poe – were barred from getting abortions by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the federal agency that oversees refugees and undocumented immigrants, the ACLU said Friday.
The Trump administration defended the move, with the Department of Health and Human Services's (HHS) Administration for Children and Families saying the minors could leave the country or "find a suitable sponsor."
“The minors in this case—who entered the country illegally—have the option to voluntarily depart to their home country or find a suitable sponsor. If they choose not to exercise these options, HHS does not believe we are required to facilitate the abortion," it said in a statement.
The latest court battle comes after another undocumented immigrant, also identified as Jane Doe, was granted a sought-after abortion after a controversial legal fight with the Trump administration.
That case – Garza v. Hargan – is currently pending before the Supreme Court. The Justice Department has sought to have the court ruling that allowed Doe to obtain the abortion vacated to prevent others from pursuing a similar course of action.
The ACLU said the legal fight is opposed to what it called a new Trump administration policy to block undocumented immigrants' access to abortion.
The organization said that Scott Lloyd, the director of ORR, has personally women to convince them not to go through with abortion procedures and to instead carry their pregnancies to term.
"It’s unreal that the federal government is trying to force more young women to continue their pregnancies against their will," Brigitte Amiri, an attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement.
Updated Dec. 16 at 10:51 a.m.