Sign the petition to tell Scott Lloyd, director of ORR, and Ken Paxton, that everyone in Texas should have their human rights respected, including the right to abortion. Jane Doe must have access to the abortion care she needs immediately. ORR must allow this minor, and all other minors and immigrants in their custody, to access a full spectrum of medical care, including abortion.
Jane Doe is a 17-year-old unaccompanied immigrant minor (UAM) currently residing in a federally funded shelter in Texas and in legal custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). When she arrived at the shelter, she stated that she was pregnant and wanted an abortion. In Texas, a minor is required to obtain parental consent to receive an abortion, or, if that is not possible, permission from a judge through a process called judicial bypass. With the help of Jane’s Due Process and local counsel, Jane obtained a judicial bypass. Under Texas law, she is now allowed to consent to her own abortion care. However, her shelter, under the direct instructions of Scott Lloyd, the Director of ORR, is refusing to transport Ms. Doe to an abortion clinic, or even allow her court-appointed guardian ad litem to transport her. Instead, she has been forced to undergo anti-abortion counseling at a crisis pregnancy center (CPC). CPC’s are not health care centers; they are unregulated and known to distribute medically incorrect and biased information to dissuade women from having an abortion. ORR has also informed her mother, against the express wishes of Jane Doe, who saw her parents beat her pregnant older sister until she miscarried. This is part of a new policy that aims to eliminate access to abortion for minors in ORR care.
The ACLU filed a case on Friday, October 5 in the Northern District of Californiato request an immediate order allowing Jane to be transported to the abortion clinic. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting ORR. Paxton’s argument is that immigrants do not have constitutional rights – nor, apparently, human rights.
In his press release, Paxton expressed fear that Texas will become a “sanctuary state for abortions.” We believe that Texas should be a place of sanctuary for minors who have fled violence in their home countries, including sexual violence, and endured a journey that placed them at risk for sexual assault. They should not be subjected to medically unnecessary gynecological exams against their will. They should not be shamed or preached at.
We believe that everyone in Texas should have their human rights respected, including the right to abortion.
Jane Doe MUST have access to the abortion care she needs IMMEDIATELY. All people in immigration detention deserve full access to healthcare, which includes reproductive healthcare. Especially in Texas, which has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, abortion at any stage is significantly safer than childbirth. Jane Doe has been requesting the procedure for multiple weeks, and national and state abortion funds have offered to cover the cost of the procedure. However, with each passing day, Jane is pushed further towards a second trimester procedure, or forced childbirth.