DOJ Gives Up Battle to Stop Undocumented Teens From Getting Abortions—For Now

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

On Tuesday night, the Department of Justice dropped its appeal to fight a court order that allowed two undocumented teenagers—known as Jane Roe (now determined to be 19 years old) and Jane Poe (17 years old)—who were held in immigration detention centers to get abortions. One is 10 weeks pregnant; the other is about 22 weeks pregnant. For these two young women, the fight is finally over.

A federal judge on Monday had cited the need to “preserve [the teens’] constitutional right to decide whether to carry their pregnancies to term.” The DOJ had initially gone straight to the Supreme Court to appeal the ruling, but threw in the towel on Tuesday.

After obtaining Jane Roe’s birth certificate, it was determined she was actually 19 years old, not a 17 year old minor, and she was released from government custody on Tuesday. As of now, both young women are now free to obtain abortions.


At the heart of the case was whether or not the Trump administration has the authority to prevent undocumented minors in detention centers from getting abortions. This broader fight is still going on. This was the released The ACLU, which filed the case on behalf of the teens released a statement on its plans to continue the original lawsuit:

“We are pleased that these two young women are able to finally get the care they need. But the government’s policy is still in place. These two cases show how the government continues to abuse its power by denying abortion access. The ACLU will keep fighting until this dystopian policy is struck down, and we have justice for every Jane.”

Clio Chang is a staff writer at Splinter.

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