The Trump administration is reportedly demanding that the Supreme Court discipline the American Civil Liberties Union after the organization aided a 17-year-old illegal immigrant in receiving an abortion last week, according to Fox News.
Federal lawyers were preparing a case against the procedure at the time.
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The Justice Department argues that American Civil Liberties Union lawyers misled the administration – in a case that could become President Trump’s first major battle in the country’s politically divisive abortion issue.
The unidentified, 17-year-old from Central America was reportedly told by federal agents in September that she was pregnant, upon trying to illegally enter the U.S. without her parents.
The Trump administration purportedly blocked the teen – only identified as “Jane Doe” – and a guardian from leaving a South Texas refugee center, where she was being detained, to see an abortion provider. They argued the federal government shouldn’t facilitate her having the procedure.
The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit in response, which allowed the teen to eventually see a doctor and receive the abortion procedure.
DOJ officials are claiming the ACLU lawyers involved in the case had sworn to keep them informed on when the girl would receive the abortion, and that the initial appointment for Oct. 26 was changed to the early morning of Oct. 25 to avoid a hearing prior.
The initial appointment was also supposed to be simply a counseling session.
“In light of that, the Justice Department believes the judgment under review should be vacated and discipline may be warranted against Jane Doe’s attorneys,” the agency told the LA Times.
ACLU officials argued the DOJ had time to file an appeal and that the lower court had authorized the teen’s abortion procedure.
“This administration has gone to astounding lengths to block this young woman from getting an abortion. Now, because they were unable to stop her, they are raising baseless questions about our conduct,” said ACLU Legal Director David Cole, who also argued the case is part of a new administration policy “to block access to abortion care for young immigrants in detention.”