Undocumented Teen Jane Doe Obtains An Abortion After Weeks Of Fighting The Trump Admin For One
On Wednesday, the undocumented teenage immigrant in Texas who's been locked in a legal struggle with the federal government over her reproductive rights has seen her saga come to an end. Less than 24 hours after a D.C. appeals court ruled in her favor, Jane Doe obtained the abortion the Trump administration blocked for weeks, terminating her pregnancy roughly three weeks before she would have passed the 20-week gestational mark, at which point the state of Texas would've prohibited her from doing so.
According to a press release posted by the ACLU, Jane Doe got the abortion on Wednesday morning. The Trump administration's Department of Health and Human Services had prevented her from doing so for weeks, leveraging the fact that the 17-year-old was living in a federally funded shelter in the Rio Grande Valley.
After the D.C. appeals court ruling, there was some concern on the part of pro-choice advocates and activists that the administration might try for a quick appeal to the Supreme Court to block the abortion again, with mere weeks before it would effectively be impossible for her to receive one in the Lone Star State. But that's over and done with now, as the young woman has reportedly now already exercised her reproductive rights.
Jane Doe herself released a statement attached to the ACLU's press release; you can read the entire thing below.
My name is not Jane Doe, but I am a Jane Doe.
I’m a 17 year old girl that came to this country to make a better life for myself. My journey wasn’t easy, but I came here with hope in my heart to build a life I can be proud of. I dream about studying, becoming a nurse, and one day working with the elderly.
When I was detained, I was placed in a shelter for children. It was there that I was told I was pregnant. I knew immediately what was best for me then, as I do now – that I’m not ready to be a parent. Thanks to my lawyers, Rochelle Garza and Christine Cortez, and with the help of Jane’s Due Process, I went before a judge and was given permission to end my pregnancy without my parents’ consent. I was nervous about appearing in court, but I was treated very kindly. I am grateful that the judge agreed with my decision and granted the bypass.
While the government provides for most of my needs at the shelter, they have not allowed me to leave to get an abortion. Instead, they made me see a doctor that tried to convince me not to abort and to look at sonograms. 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.
No one should be shamed for making the right decision for themselves. I would not tell any other girl in my situation what they should do. That decision is hers and hers alone.
I’ve been waiting for more than a month since I made my decision. It has been very difficult to wait in the shelter for news that the judges in Washington, D.C. have given me permission to proceed with my decision. I am grateful for this, and I ask that the government accept it. Please stop delaying my decision any longer.
My lawyers have told me that people around the country have been calling and writing to show support for me. I am touched by this show of love from people I may never know and from a country I am just beginning to know – to all of you, thank you.
This is my life, my decision. I want a better future. I want justice.
ACLU senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri also commented in the press release, describing Wednesday's events as justice prevailing.
Justice prevailed today for Jane Doe. But make no mistake about it, the Administration's efforts to interfere in women's decisions won't stop with Jane. With this case we have seen the astounding lengths this administration will go to block women from abortion care. We will not stop fighting until we have justice for every woman like Jane.
In short, for Jane Doe, this highly publicized legal battle has come to an end, and she's received the health care she so ardently wanted. It's worth noting, as many reproductive rights advocates have, that she isn't the only person to be affected by the Trump administration's policies on abortion. But for the past few weeks she became undoubtedly the highest profile representative of the issue, and it's ended with her finally doing what she set out to do.