Teenager wins right to abortion after suing the Trump administration

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Jasmine Andersson

A 17-year-old girl who sued the Trump administration for blocking her request to obtain an abortion has terminated her pregnancy.

The girl, known as “Jane Doe”, is an immigrant detained in a state-run children’s centre in Texas. She fought a lengthy battle to receive a termination after the US Department of Justice delayed her abortion.

Doe discovered she was 15 weeks pregnant when she arrived at the children’s centre, and decided she wanted to have an abortion. However, under Texan legislation – which states that women cannot receive abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy – she only had five weeks to secure a termination.

Rather than being granted the right to an abortion, Doe was subject to delays imposed by the Department of Justice.

She says that children’s centre workers tried to encourage her to keep the child, while a doctor forced her to watch a sonogram of the foetus in an attempt to dissuade her from having an abortion. 


After she decided to take the matter to court, Doe’s decision was delayed by a panel for another three weeks, meaning that she had just a matter of days before the termination would be rendered illegal.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) then stepped in to represent Doe in a court of appeal. She was finally granted the right to a termination by a federal judge on 31 October, and has now had an abortion.

In a written statement about the ruling, Doe said that “no one should be shamed for making the right decision for themselves”.

“While the government provides for most of my needs at the shelter, they have not allowed me to leave to get an abortion,” Doe wrote.



“Instead, they made me see a doctor that tried to convince me not to abort and to look at sonograms,” she said. “People I don’t even know are trying to make me change my mind. I made my decision and that is between me and God.

“Through all of this, I have never changed my mind.”

Doe said that it was important for women to “not be shamed for making the right decision for themselves”.

“I would not tell any other girl in my situation what they should do,” she wrote. “That decision is hers and hers alone.This is my life, my decision. I want a better future. I want justice.”

“Today’s decision rights a grave constitutional wrong by the government,” Judge Patricia Millett wrote in her concurring opinion.

“Remember, we are talking about a child here. A child who is alone in a foreign land. A child who, after her arrival here in a search for safety and after the government took her into custody, learned that she is pregnant.”

A creeping spate of abortion restrictions are entering America.

Women in Texas are required to pay extra to obtain “rape insurance” in case they need to terminate a pregnancy, while in Arkansas, women now require a man’s permission to get an abortion

Images: Rex Features


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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez  

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