The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a restraining order against the Trump administration, claiming federal officials are preventing a fourth female minor who is in the country illegally from obtaining an abortion.
According to the ACLU legal filing, the girl, who is 17 and going by the name Jane Moe in court documents, has asked for an abortion but has been prevented from getting one by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is within the Department of Health and Human Services. The restraining order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
HHS’ Administration for Children and Families said that it did not believe it must help Moe obtain an abortion because of concerns about her interests.
“The Jane in this case, Jane Moe – who entered the country illegally – has the option to voluntarily depart to her home country or find a suitable sponsor," an official said. "If she chooses not to exercise these options, HHS does not believe we are required to facilitate Jane Moe’s abortion, out of concern and responsibility for the mother’s best interests.”
In March, the administration set a policy of preventing federally funded shelters from taking actions that would "facilitate" abortions for minors who are not accompanied by an adult, without the approval of Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The ACLU has said the policy is unconstitutional but is filing individual restraining orders until that case is decided.
"As we made clear in our court papers today, the Trump administration is blatantly ignoring the fact that the Supreme Court has held for the past 45 years that abortion is a fundamental constitutional right. And that right does not depend on immigration status," ACLU wrote.
Moe is in the second trimester of her pregnancy and requested the abortion two weeks ago. She also has set aside private funds to pay for the procedure.
Three previous similar cases of immigrant girls in government custody ended with them being able to have abortions.