Texas Is Abusive in Blocking an Underage Immigrant From Getting an Abortion

Seventeen years ago, I represented the first Jane Doe in Austin who needed an abortion just after Texas passed the law requiring parental notification or a judicial waiver for a minor seeking an abortion. Since then, I have remained committed to helping these young women who, under dire circumstances, are asserting their fundamental right to determine the course of their lives. As a board member of the nonprofit Jane's Due Process, I am appalled by the federal government's treatment of another Jane Doe who reminds me of the Janes I have represented over the years.Jane Doe is seeking a better life for herself, and when she arrived in the United States as a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor, she presumably thought she had found a place of refuge where she could seek asylum from an abusive family and a violent home country. She was pregnant when she arrived and stated from the beginning that she wanted an abortion.She encountered Texas' parental consent law; however, with the help of local counsel and Jane's Due Process, she obtained a judicial bypass from a state district judge that allowed her to consent to her own abortion. Then she encountered another obstacle, the Office of Refugee Resettlement's new policy that prohibits abortions for unaccompanied minors.  Continue reading...

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