Controversy Erupts Over Unaccompanied Minor Seeking Abortion in U.S. Custody

The attorneys general from eight U.S. states are attempting to stop a foreign unaccompanied minor’s request to have an abortion while she is in federal custody for illegally entering the country. The attorneys general are supporting the federal government’s position that an illegal immigrant does not have a “right” to an abortion.

The 17-year-old girl entered the U.S. illegally and is currently in a federal facility in Brownsville, Texas. The girl, referred to as Jane Doe in court records, requested to be allowed to have an abortion while she is in custody. The ACLU is fighting the government’s position and claims the young girl is being forced to carry a baby against her will, the Houston Chronicle reported.

The states lined up to stop the court’s granting of approval are from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

The attorneys general for the eight states filed an amicus brief (attached below) with the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia on Tuesday.

“No federal court has ever declared that unlawfully-present aliens with no ties to this country have a constitutional right to abortion on demand, the attorneys general wrote. “The Court should decline to break that new ground.”

“The Constitution does not confer on Jane Doe the right to an abortion,” they stated.

The brief states that if the court were to allow the abortion to proceed it would “create a right to abortion for anyone on Earth who entered the United States illegally, no matter how briefly.” The legal team also argues that if this right is granted, “It is difficult to imagine what other constitutional rights she would have by extension.”

The brief lays out the attorneys general’s arguments as to why an illegal immigrant has no right to an abortion in the U.S. and the potential ramifications of granting such a right by the court.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014, said she was “astounded” that the federal government would seek to block the girl from obtaining an abortion, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday afternoon. She said the government is attempting to leave the young girl who illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Texas last month with two options. Those being: Voluntarily return to the nations she fled to procure an abortion; or carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.”

Judge Chutkan later compared an abortion to having tonsils removed. “All the government had to do,” the Washington Post reported, “is process the paperwork to let the girl visit the clinic, just as they would if she needed to have her tonsils removed.”

The judge came back later on Wednesday and ordered the government to allow the allow the abortion, according to BuzzFeed News.

The case highlights a sad reality that many young girls being smuggled into the U.S. illegally become pregnant, often through rape. While this young girl is not claiming in the court documents that she was raped, studies have revealed that as many as 80 percent of female migrants are raped or sexually assaulted on their journey from Central America to the U.S., Breitbart Texas Editor-in-Chief Brandon Darby and border journalist Ildefonso Ortiz reported earlier this year.

Human smugglers erect “rape trees” as monuments to their conquests and a warning to other women and girls as to what awaits them if they do not follow orders.

Breitbart Texas reported:

Women and young girls from Central America are routinely given birth control or morning after pills by their mothers in anticipation of the likely sexual assaults that will occur on their illicit journey to the United States.

These females are often raped immediately upon making it to their first stop once they arrive in a Mexican stash house from Guatemala. They then are shipped to the U.S.-Mexico border, usually to Reynosa, Mexico, immediately south of McAllen, Texas. In the process of making it from the first stash house to the second, the women and young girls are often sexually assaulted or raped again by the smuggler–or group of smugglers–taking them between the two locations. The sexual assaults and rapes then often happen again in the second Mexican stash house of their journey.

They are then trickled into the U.S. across the porous border and brought to a third stash house in a U.S. border town, usually in or near McAllen, Texas. They are often sexually assaulted or raped again by the operator of the stash house, if they are deemed attractive by the criminals operating the clandestine facility. They are stockpiled until the cartel wants to send a large load of narcotics across the Rio Grande. The cartel then sends a large load of humans across in one area and then a drug load across in another.

Once the human beings are in Texas, another smuggler then picks up the women and young girls and drives them with a coyote to a point along Highway 281 just before the Border patrol checkpoint immediately south of Falfurrias, Texas. The checkpoint is approximately 85 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

The article continues:

“The rape trees are a common practice in this area,” said Daniel Walden, a human trafficking investigator and instructor who founded a team of volunteer police officers who donate their time to help patrol in Brooks County, which is among Texas’ poorest counties. “The women are warned in Mexico that they likely will be raped and assaulted during the trafficking process. It is common for mothers to put their young daughters on the pill or some other form of contraception before sending them north.”

“Human trafficking is about the smuggler having power and control over their victims. The rape trees send a signal to those who follow about what will happen if you get out of line. The women are terrorized into submission,” Walden explained during an interview with Breitbart Texas. “While I have only seen one rape tree personally, we get reports from inside the ranches about them on a regular basis.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.

Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.

State AGs’ Amicus Brief on Undocumented Immigrant Abortions


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