The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is battling the Trump administration over abortion rights again. This time, two undocumented teenagers, known as Jane Roe and Jane Poe, have been denied access to an abortion.
In October, a court ruled in favor of Jane Doe, another undocumented teenager who was fighting to get access to an abortion after the Trump administration tried to block her.
According to a release by the ACLU, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is the organization denying the young women access to safe abortions. ORR is part of the Department of Human and Health Services, in the office of Administration for Children & Families.
“We’ve already stopped the Trump administration from blocking one young woman’s abortion,” Brigitte Amiri, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in a statement. “But the Trump administration is relentless in its cruelty, blocking abortion access for the most marginalized people in our country. It’s unreal that the federal government is trying to force more young women to continue their pregnancies against their will.”
The Trump administration argued that unaccompanied minors do not have a constitutional right to access abortions while in federal custody.
More specifically, E. Scott Lloyd, the head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, has had a big part in blocking abortion access to unaccompanied minors in the federal government’s care, according to The Washington Post. Lloyd has even personally intervened. The Washington Post also reports that Lloyd built his career on pushing for religious values and has taken those views into the federal government.
ACLU lawyers are fighting against what they claim is a new tactic under the Trump administration to force unaccompanied minors to carry their pregnancies to term, even against their will.
The ORR takes these young women to religiously-affiliated, anti-abortion crisis centers, and block them from medical appointments related to abortion services.
In the case of Jane Doe earlier this year, ACLU lawyers were successful in winning the young woman the right to terminate her pregnancy. The court battle took a month as one court after another heard arguments in favor and against Doe’s right to choose. In the end, an appeals court ruled that the federal government had to allow Doe to terminate the pregnancy. Doe had the abortion the day after the decision was handed down.