Appeals court: Undocumented teen must obtain sponsor to get abortion

Image: www.acf.hhs.gov/orr

Oct. 20 (UPI) — An appeals court on Friday ruled an undocumented 17-year-old girl in U.S. custody may get an abortion if she obtains a government-approved sponsor to take custody of her.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia gave the girl, identified only as Jane Doe, until 5 p.m. Oct. 31 to secure a sponsor.

The same court on Thursday blocked a federal judge’s order that would require officials to let the girl receive an abortion Friday or Saturday. They said she must first undergo counseling and a sonogram.

On Friday, the appeals court added the sponsor requirement.

Lawyers for the teen told The Washington Post it would be hard to find her a government-approved sponsor in time.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has prevented the girl, who is staying at an undisclosed shelter for unaccompanied immigrant children in Texas, from getting an abortion. She is believed to be 15 weeks pregnant and Texas law only allows women to terminate pregnancies before 20 weeks.

The Trump administration says it has no obligation to facilitate an abortion for the teen because the U.S. government promotes “child birth and fetal life.”

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union are representing the girl.

“Our client and women across this country should be able to access abortion without federal officials interfering,” the ACLU said. “We are investigating all avenues to get justice for her, and will not let Jane Doe be a pawn in the Trump administration’s extremist agenda.”

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