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Richter says that undocumented teenagers in detention must have access to abortion



US immigration and customs officials enter an apartment complex looking for a specific undocumented immigrant convicted of a criminal offense in Dallas, Texas, on March 6, 2015.

Associated Press / LM Otero

  • A federal judge issued an injunction prohibiting the federal government from interfering with the ability of undocumented teenagers in US custody to obtain abortions or receive abortion-related services.
  • The US Department of Health and Social Services has previously issued a directive Prohibiting state-funded accommodations to "take any measures that facilitate abortions without approval"
  • The government may appeal

A federal judge in Washington issued a restraining order on Friday preventing the Trump administration from interfering with the ability of undocumented teens in US custody to have abortions or abortion-related services.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has also certified a class action lawsuit for similar underage children to challenge government policies.

The US Department of Health's (HRS) Refugee Resettlement Office (ORR) issued a directive last March that banned US government-funded accommodations from "taking any action that aborts without." Permit the Director's authorization ".

But the judge said an injunction was in order while the matter was being negotiated because the plaintiffs had demonstrated a "high likelihood of success" in asserting that policy enforcement would constitute an unconstitutional "inappropriate burden" on abortion.

Chutkan said that ORR is "certainly entitled to retain an interest in fetal life", but can not "liberate undocumented teens from their right to make their own reproductive decisions".

The government can appeal.

HHS did not immediately respond to a request for a post-closing comment.

Brigitte Amiri, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer representing the youth, said, "It is a relief that the court has blocked the Trump Administration's cruel policy of granting and allowing minors unaccompanied minors access to abortions to hinder. "

Chutkan had ordered HHS in December to deport two undocumented immigrants, both at the age of 17, into abortion but shelved their order to admit a government appeal.

According to court records, over the past four years, several hundred pregnant undocumented teenagers have been in US custody.

The case is Garza v Hargan, US District Court, District of Columbia, No. 17-02122.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, edited by Sandra Maler)


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