Undocumented teen asks full appeals court to step in, allow abortion
An undocumented teenager who was blocked from getting an abortion is now requesting the full bench of a federal appeals court in Washington to step in, Politico reported.
The move comes after a federal appeals court ruled late Friday that the Trump administration can block the undocumented teen in federal custody from having an abortion.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday ordered the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a 2-1 decision to find and release the 17-year-old girl — known in court documents only as Jane Doe — to a sponsor by 5 p.m. on Oct. 31.
Now, attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union are seeking to extend the appeal to the full D.C. Circuit.
The 17-year-old girl is estimated to be 15 weeks pregnant.
“Every additional day she must remain pregnant against her will places a severe strain on J.D., both physically and emotionally. Every additional week the government delays her abortion increases the risks associated with the procedure,” the teen’s attorneys wrote in the petition for en banc review filed with the D.C. Circuit late Sunday, Politico reported.
“In a matter of weeks, J.D. will no longer be able to get an abortion at all, and the government will have forced J.D. to have a child against her will.”
A spokesman for HHS’s Administration for Children and Families said in a statement Friday that the office will “protect the well-being of this minor and all children and their babies in our facilities, and we will defend human dignity for all in our care.”
The administration has until Monday at 11 a.m. to respond to the petition.
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