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Trump administration denies abortion for another young undocumented immigrant

That makes at least four.

CREDIT: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images
CREDIT: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Trump administration recently denied a fourth young undocumented immigrant the right to an abortion, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Thursday.

The 17-year-old girl — referred to as “Jane Moe” in court papers — is believed to be in the second trimester of her pregnancy. She has access to private funds to cover the cost of the procedure and staff at the shelter where she is living have indicated a willingness to accompany her. However, the government is refusing to allow her access to an abortion — making this case the fourth time in four months that the Trump administration has prevented an undocumented minor from obtaining the legal procedure.

According to the ACLU, Jane Moe requested the procedure two weeks ago. Under the Trump administration’s policy, she was instead taken to a crisis pregnancy center, where pregnant people are routinely discouraged from terminating their pregnancies. In the time since, government officials have barred her from leaving to undergo the abortion. It is unclear where the girl is being held or when she came to the United States.

Jane Moe’s case follows those of Jane Doe, Jane Roe, and Jane Poe, three other undocumented minors who sought abortions. Jane Doe’s case made headlines back in October when the 17-year-old fought the Trump administration and ultimately obtained an abortion after a heated legal battle. In a statement later released by the ACLU, Jane Doe thanked her supporters and slammed the White House.

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“While the government provides for most of my needs at the shelter, they have not allowed me to leave to get an abortion,” Doe wrote. “Instead, they made me see a doctor that tried to convince me not to abort and to look at sonograms. People I don’t even know are trying to make me change my mind. I made my decision and that is between me and God. Through all of this, I have never changed my mind.”

All three of Jane Moe’s predecessors ultimately received abortions, despite facing steep resistance from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Under ORR Director Scott Lloyd, abortion access is next to impossible for young people seeking to end their pregnancies. The aggressively anti-choice Lloyd notably attempted to stop Jane Poe from receiving an abortion, despite knowing that the teenager’s pregnancy was the result of rape in her home country, and that the girl herself had threatened self-harm when she was denied the procedure.

Trump has stacked his administration with anti-abortion extremists,” the ACLU’s Jennifer Dalven said on a call Thursday, referencing figures like Lloyd. Dalven went on to note the challenge the Trump administration has posed for young undocumented immigrants seeking abortions. 

“It was only because we were able to get a court order that she was able to get the care that she needed,” Dalven said, pointing to Jane Poe’s situation.

Jane Moe is likely to face similar challenges. Her case arises under a broader effortGarza v. Hargan, which challenges the White House’s efforts to bar undocumented immigrants from seeking abortions. The court has not yet ruled on the request.

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In the meantime, advocates worry that other young people are at risk — many of whom lack legal representation and remain in limbo.

“These are just the young women we know about,” said Dalven, referring to the four teenagers currently known to the ACLU. “We know there are more Jane Does out there.”