A drawn-out court battle between the Trump administration and an undocumented teenager over her right to get an abortion ended Wednesday morning, when the teen received an abortion after weeks of legal wrangling. VICE News Tonight on HBO exclusively interviewed the 17-year-old immigrant, known in court papers as Jane Doe, in Texas last Thursday after she received state-mandated counseling about the procedure.
Doe first crossed the border from a Central American country as an unaccompanied minor in September, and she’s been held in a shelter operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement ever since. At the time of the interview, Doe believed she would receive an abortion the next day — but hours later, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a government appeal to halt the procedure, on grounds that federal policy bans “any action that facilitates” abortion.
Three judges later ruled to further delay it, but that decision was ultimately reversed Tuesday by the full panel, paving the way for Doe’s abortion.
Here’s a short excerpt. Watch VICE News Tonight on HBO at 7:30 p.m. for the full interview:
VICE News: When did you decide you wanted to have the abortion?
JD: When I first arrived at the shelter. I decided to do it because I don’t feel capable of being a mature woman, or being strong, or old enough to be able to take care of it. I don’t feel sure of having a child.
VN: It’s been a long road to get to this point, where you’ve been able to go forward and come to your appointment. How are you feeling with the amount of time that’s just taken to get here?
JD: I feel good because I want to do it.
VN: Is it strange for you being at the center of a really crazy debate across the country?
JD: Yes. It’s something difficult. Because I’ve never been through this.