DC Circuit Called to Defend Abortion Rights for Unaccompanied Minors

DC Circuit Called to Defend Abortion Rights for Unaccompanied Minors

WASHINGTON (CN) – Eighteen states and the District of Columbia are urging the D.C. Circuit to uphold legal protections for young immigrants who seek abortions after they enter into the United States without a parent or guardian.

The case in Washington arose following a May 2017 policy change whereby Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, wanted to sign off personally on every abortion requested by a minor in federal custody.

Lloyd, who is famously anti-abortion, has so far rejected every request, said New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who is at the helm Monday of a 35-page amicus brief in the case Garza v. Azar.

“All women have a constitutionally protected right to access safe and effective abortion services — including unaccompanied minors,” Underwood in a statement about the brief.

The American Civil Liberties Union initiated the Garza challenge in October 2017 on behalf of an undocumented minor immigrant identified only as Jane Doe. Though the injunction issued in that case by U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan applied classwide, Underwood notes in her brief that Lloyd later denied the request for an abortion by a minor who had been raped in her home country.

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