WASHINGTON (CNS) — The head of the Susan B. Anthony List said the pro-life organization “was deeply saddened to learn that Jane Doe’s child has been aborted,” referring to an immigrant teen from Central America in federal detention in Brownsville, Texas.
The American Civil Liberties Union supported an abortion for the 17-year-old, who is in the country illegally and identified only as Jane Doe. The Trump administration challenged the ACLU and the case ended up in the courts, ultimately making its way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The full court ruled 6-3 Oct. 24 that the teen should be able to have an abortion, and the next day she had the procedure.
Texas Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville said the diocese “stands ready at any time to assist the mother and her child with practical support and aid. It is our prayer that the mother may find peace and her child may be given a chance to live.”
“Two vulnerable human lives that will be forever impacted by these legal decisions, one an unaccompanied minor, the other her unborn child,” he said in a statement.
“Our thoughts are foremost with the young girl,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “(She) has now been saddled with the death of her child before she has even reached her 18th birthday — a terrible burden for anyone to carry, much less at such a tender age and so far from home,” she said in an Oct. 25 statement. “We ask that the pro-life community and all compassionate Americans keep her and her child in their prayers.”
She blamed the outcome of the case on “the extreme agenda of the abortion lobby.”
“We unequivocally reject abortion advocates’ narrative that justice has been done in this case,” Dannenfelser said, adding that the abortion lobby and the ACLU “has claimed two victims and made a cruel mockery of the ‘American dream.'”
“We will continue to oppose all efforts to impose a so-called constitutional right to abortion and turn the United States into a sanctuary nation for abortion,” she added.
The ACLU argued that under the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, the immigrant teenager was entitled to have an abortion that she would pay for.
On Oct. 20, the Texas Catholic bishops issued a joint statement criticizing the ACLU for backing an abortion for a teen immigrant in the country illegally and also praised government officials for their defense of the unborn.
A federal judge ruled the teenager had the right to get an abortion. The Trump administration challenged the ruling, arguing the government is not obligated to facilitate an abortion for someone in the country without legal documents
The case went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where a three-judge panel blocked the teen’s abortion Oct. 20, ordering the Department of Health and Human Services to find a sponsor by Oct. 31 to take custody of the teenager, such as an adult relative, and then make a decision on an abortion. On Oct. 24, the full court overruled that decision, saying the teen could have an abortion.
Attorneys general from nine states, including Texas, Missouri and Ohio, had backed the federal government in its appeal, stating in a court filing: There is no “constitutional right to abortion on demand.”
“Federal and Texas state officials are to be commended for defending the life of an innocent unborn child in a recent case involving an unaccompanied pregnant minor in federal immigration custody,” the Texas Catholic bishops said in their statement.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: