A federal judge ordered Monday that the Trump administration has to stop blocking two immigrant teenage girls who are in U.S. custody from obtaining abortions, reports the Hill.
The two girls—referred to in court records as Jane Doe and Jane Poe— were prevented from getting abortions by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which is the federal agency that oversees most things to do with refugees and undocumented immigrants. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is fighting for them in court. The judge has honored the ACLU’s request for temporary restraining orders on the officials so they could not prevent the women from having the procedure done. However, the ruling is on a 24-hour hold to let the government have time to file for a stay in appeals court.
The ORR released a statement about the situation during the proceedings where the agency said the girls had two options. They could leave the country to have abortion procedures done, or they could find a “suitable sponsor” through Health and Human Services (HHS). The only thing they would offer them would be “life-affirming options counseling” instead of any kind of actually helpful assistance, medical or otherwise. The ACLU says that the director of ORR, Scott Lloyd, decided to contact the two girls in person in order to convince them to carry their pregnancies to term, rather than seeking an abortion.
The Trump administration condemned the ruling when it came down Monday. In a statement, the department said, “We are deeply disappointed in the decision to grant a temporary restraining order that will compel HHS to facilitate abortions for minors when they are not medically necessary.” The idea of “taxpayer-facilitated abortions” is apparently far more horrifying than the idea of two 17-year-old girls who are being held in custody with no idea where their future is taking them having to also, simultaneously, figure out how to care for and support a child.
This isn’t the first time the ACLU has had to fight for the reproductive rights of an undocumented immigrant. Another woman, also known as Jane Doe, was granted an abortion after a long and controversial legal battle with the Trump administration. That case is still in the legal system and will be heard by the Supreme Court in the future.
While the fight isn’t over yet, the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project is celebrating the ruling. Brigitte Amiri, a senior staff attorney with the project, said the decision is “a reminder that both the law and justice are on our side. . . We’re prepared to keep fighting for as long as we need to.”