Sessions ‘disturbed’ by case of immigrant who got abortion
Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant who obtained an abortion this week after a bitter court battle should not have been allowed to go through with the procedure and that the Justice Department is “disturbed” by the development.
Sessions told Fox News’s Bret Baier in an interview Friday evening that lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented the teen identified in court papers only as Jane Doe, were “determined to have that abortion.”
The attorney general also complained that the girl was able to undergo the procedure early Wednesday morning, before the Justice Department was able to file a new brief.
“I think it’s a serious problem, it should not have happened and we’re disturbed about it, I’ve got to tell you,” Sessions said.
Asked by Baier if the Justice Department was willing to take the issue of federal funding for abortions to the Supreme Court, Sessions said the Trump administration would pursue the case “in any way possible.”
“I don’t believe that we should be using taxpayers’ dollars to fund abortions and I think in this case, it certainly was not justified,” he said. “We’ve resisted it steadfastly and I’m very disappointed that these lawyers were able to take the client around the law to avoid a court hearing at least to see that we were filing.”
The Jane Doe case set off a firestorm of public debate in recent weeks, bringing together the already hot-button issues of illegal immigration and abortion rights.
The episode began when the teen was detained at the U.S.-Mexico border after traveling from Central America. She soon received a medical examination and was told she was pregnant.
She was promptly blocked by the Justice Department from obtaining an abortion, a move that sparked a lawsuit in federal court. A federal appeals court sided with the teenager, and early Wednesday morning she left the Texas shelter where she was being held to undergo the procedure.
“I made my decision and that is between me and God,” the teen said in a statement on Wednesday. “Through all of this, I have never changed my mind.”