The case of a 17-year-old girl residing in Texas has recently brought two sensitive political issues to a head: immigration and abortion. The girl, identified only as Jane Doe, crossed into America from a country in South America without her parents. She was detained at the border, where she discovered that she was pregnant. Jane then began staying at a federal shelter for minors in Texas and decided to terminate her pregnancy.
However, as a minor in Texas needs consent from a parent or guardian in order to follow through with the procedure, Jane Doe visited a court with a guardian to get permission. Although it was granted, the shelter refused to help ‘facilitate’ the abortion, leaving Jane with complications as to how she would gain access to it, which led the American Civil Liberties Union to file a lawsuit for her.
The case became a particularly pressing issue because of the regulations surrounding abortions in Texas. Jane Doe was 16 weeks pregnant and Texas does not allow abortions to take place once the pregnancy has surpassed 20 weeks. This influenced the court’s proceedings, pushing the case through in a short time and even leading to the reversal of an earlier judicial decision made by a panel of judges.
The case involves many current social issues, including the spark of a debate around the rights of undocumented immigrants to receive abortions in America, as it is an intersection of several heavily disputed areas of politics. Despite the controversy, the court ruled in Jane’s favor, allowing her to terminate her pregnancy.
Nevertheless, the fight is far from over. The Trump Administration did everything within their power to restrict Jane from having an abortion and to stop her from making her own decisions. This raises questions about the future of abortion politics in America, specifically when involving immigrants, as well as how far the current administration will go to restrict the rights of women such as Jane.