A judge is deciding Wednesday whether the state of Texas must help a teenage illegal immigrant get an abortion — a case that could have serious ramifications.
Even though the 17-year-old illegal immigrant received a judicial waiver allowing her — a minor — to get an abortion, the officers detaining her refuse to take her to an abortion clinic American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyer, Rochelle Garza, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. She refused to make public the girl’s name or country of origin, citing privacy reasons.
“I feel like they are trying to coerce me to carry my pregnancy to term,” the girl told a federal court earlier in October, explaining that she was taken to a crisis pregnancy center instead of an abortion clinic.
The ACLU backs her claim, insisting that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violates her rights by preventing her from getting an abortion.
The ACLU’s original lawsuit posited that the HHS violated the First Amendment by refusing the girl an abortion. Texas’ state attorney doesn’t quite see it the same way.
Illegal immigrants do not have a constitutional right to abortion, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement on Tuesday. Ruling in the girl’s favor “will create a right to abortion for anyone on earth who enters the U.S. illegally,” Paxton said. “And with that right, countless others undoubtedly would follow. Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions,” he added.
“As far as I’m aware, abortion is legal in this country,” Garza said in disagreement with Paxton. “Nobody has the right to force her to have a child against her will,” she added. Garza did not indicate whether the girl would pay her own abortion or whether the state would cover it via emergency funding if the judge rules in her favor.
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