The policy effectively served as a blanket ban on abortion that was inconsistent with Supreme Court precedents saying the government can’t unduly burden a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit wrote in a 2-1 ruling on Friday. The court upheld the block on the policy.
The Associated Press: Court Rules Against Trump On Immigrant Teen Abortion Policy
A federal appeals court in Washington ruled Friday against a Trump administration policy it described as a “blanket ban” preventing immigrant teens in government custody from getting abortions, and it kept in place an order blocking the policy. The policy, which dates to 2017, prohibited shelters from facilitating abortions for children held in government shelters after entering the country illegally. The policy has not been in force since March 2018, when a judge blocked it, writing that the government couldn’t implement a policy that strips minors of the right to make their own reproductive choices. On Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld that judge’s ruling. (6/14)
The Wall Street Journal: Court Allows Undocumented Teens In U.S. Custody To Seek Abortions
“It does not even matter if her pregnancy results from rape. Regardless, the government denies her access to an abortion,” the appeals court wrote. It affirmed a trial judge’s decision from last year that blocked the policy, which was implemented by an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Thousands of undocumented minors seek to cross the southern U.S. border each year, without an adult. Unaccompanied minors who cross illegally are generally placed with family members living in the U.S, but those without family are sent to shelters under the jurisdiction of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency within the HHS, while their cases are being adjudicated. (Kendall, 6/14)
Reuters: U.S. Court Rules Against Trump Administration In Immigrant Teen Abortion Case
The case involves the intersection of two divisive social issues on which Republican President Donald Trump has taken a hard line: abortion and immigration. It began with a 17-year-old girl, whose name and nationality were not disclosed and was called “Jane Doe” in legal papers. She came to the United States alone in 2017 and was placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and houses immigrant children. (Rosenberg, 6/14)
CQ: Minors In Border Custody Can Obtain An Abortion, Court Affirms
As more lawsuits came up on behalf of pregnant minors, they were cobbled together in a class action. In March 2018, a district court recognized the plaintiffs as “all pregnant, unaccompanied immigrant minor children who are or will be in the legal custody of the federal government.” The district court also issued a preliminary injunction stopping the Trump policy, on the likelihood that the plaintiffs would succeed on the merits of their case. Specifically, it stated that the government could not interfere with access to abortion or abortion counseling. The court also stopped the government from disclosing information about any pregnancies or abortions among teens in its custody. (Misra, 6/14)
In other immigration news —
The Associated Press: US Border Center Scrutinized After Teen Found With Preemie
A U.S. Border Patrol facility in Texas came under new scrutiny Saturday after a teenage mother was found there with a premature baby. Immigrant advocates expected the facility in the U.S.-Mexico border city of McAllen to allow doctors inside to conduct health assessments, but it was not immediately clear whether those assessments took place. (6/15)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Source : Kaiser Health