A Sponsor Can Take an Undocumented Teen in Texas to Have an Abortion, Court Rules

AUSTIN — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a government agency must find a sponsor to take an undocumented minor in Texas to have an abortion.Attorneys for a 17-year-old unaccompanied immigrant — known as "Jane Doe" in court documents — fought to have her taken to have an abortion Friday, but the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., paused the process.Doe's court-appointed guardian had sued the Department of Health and Human Services last week, requesting the agency either transport Doe to an abortion facility or release her to be transported. Officials said that they did not want to assist in any way with Doe's abortion and that they had the right to promote anti-abortion policies.But in oral arguments Friday, attorneys for the health department said Doe could either leave the country or wait for a sponsor willing to take her to an abortion clinic, arguing that finding and approving a sponsor doesn't block her ability to have an abortion. U.S. Court of Appeals Judges Karen Henderson and Brett Kavanaugh of the D.C. Circuit agreed, as long as the department finds the sponsor to take her out of the federal government's custody. Sponsors who take custody of unaccompanied immigrant minors are often family members living in the U.S. Judge Patricia Millett dissented. The judges gave the department until Oct. 31 to secure the sponsor. If no sponsor has been approved by then, the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., may reinstate an order for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is in charge of Doe's care, to allow her to be taken to an abortion clinic.  Continue reading...

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