Attorney General Ken Paxton today praised a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to temporarily stay a lower federal court’s order that would have required the federal government to release a pregnant alien minor in federal custody in Texas for an abortion on Friday. The D.C. Circuit will hear oral argument in the case Friday morning at 10 a.m. EDT.
Texas leads a coalition of nine states that today filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Circuit in support of a federal government policy that prevents unaccompanied unlawfully-present minor aliens from having abortions. A federal district court judge in Washington D.C. ruled yesterday that a 17-year old (“Doe”) be taken “promptly and without delay” to an abortion provider in Texas.
“The D.C. Circuit made the right decision to temporarily stay the district court’s order, which contradicts U.S. Supreme Court precedent and harms the public interest because it effectively creates a right to abortion for anyone who entered the U.S. illegally, no matter how briefly,” Attorney General Paxton told the court. “Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions.”
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is seeking an emergency stay while the case is on appeal. Last September, “Doe” illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico without her parents and is living in a shelter funded by the HHS in Texas. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents “Doe,” contends that HHS must help her get an abortion.
“Ms. Doe may choose to terminate her federal custody either by voluntarily departing the U.S. or by finding a sponsor, which would eliminate any alleged need for the government to facilitate her elective abortion,” the HHS wrote in its brief.
Joining Texas on the amicus brief are the attorneys general of Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and South Carolina.