After weeks of legal battles, the undocumented teenager known only as “Jane Doe” got an abortion in Texas Wednesday morning.
The Trump administration had sought to prevent the 17-year-old Doe, as she’s known in court papers, from getting an abortion even after the Central American teen secured permission from the state of Texas. Doe has been in the custody of a shelter operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement since she entered in the United States in September, and the administration has argued in court that federal policy forbids “any action that facilitates” abortion without the approval of the Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Scott Lloyd.
The full D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday disagreed with that argument Tuesday, ruling that the Trump administration had to allow Doe to get her abortion.
“The government has insisted that it may categorically blockade exercise of her constitutional right unless this child (like some kind of legal Houdini) figures her own way out of detention,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote in a concurring opinion, calling the government’s position “constitutionally untenable.”
That decision reversed a Friday ruling, by three of the panel’s judges, mandating that Doe secure an immigration sponsor before she could get the procedure. It also allowed Doe’s lawyers to get a temporary restraining order from a federal district court, so Doe could leave the shelter and receive her abortion.
In a statement, Doe said:
My name is not Jane Doe, but I am a Jane Doe.