Supreme Court Throws Out Ruling Allowing Undocumented Teen Access To Abortions

The Trump administration requested the ruling be rendered moot to avoid setting a precedent for other undocumented minors seeking abortions.

The Supreme Court decided this week to throw out a lower court ruling that previously allowed a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant to obtain an abortion while in federal custody.

The high court ruled unanimously on Monday to throw out the decision, even though the teen, referred to only as “Jane Doe” in court documents, had already gotten the procedure, CNN reports.

The move is a victory for the Trump administration, which pushed for the decision to be vacated so as not to set a precedent in the event of similar cases arising in the future. Doe obtained the abortion on October 25, Reuters reports — the day after the Trump administration’s objections were struck down by the U.S. appeals court.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec praised the ruling in a statement, Reuters reports.

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly made clear that the federal government is not required to facilitate abortions for minors and may choose policies favoring life over abortion,” Kupec said. “We look forward to continuing to press the government’s interest in the sanctity of life.”

The American Civil Liberties Union, the organization that represented Jane Doe last year and who previously called the Trump administration’s attempt to delay her abortion “unconstitutional,” said in a statement that the battle for abortion access will continue.

“Today’s decision doesn’t affect our ongoing efforts to ensure that all ‘Janes’ can get an abortion if they need one,” ACLU lawyer Brigitte Amiri said in a statement. “The district court has blocked the Trump administration’s cruel policy of obstructing unaccompanied immigrant minors’ access to abortion while the case continues, and we won’t stop until we strike it down once and for all.”

The Supreme Court opted not to reprimand the ACLU’s lawyers for their handling of the situation, despite the Trump administration’s requests. The administration previously accused the ACLU of misleading the Justice Department in terms of when Doe would actually have the abortion, Reuters reports.

As stated in the court’s opinion on the case, “not all communication breakdowns constitute misconduct.”

[Photo: Stock photo of sunlight falling an a pregnant woman standing by a wall. By Daniel Esparza/EyeEm, via Getty Images]

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