12:38, December 20 329 0 abajournal.com

2017-12-20 12:38:06
Justice Department says abortion appeal in case of immigrant teen is likely moot because of her age

The U.S. Justice Department says a government appeal is likely moot in the case of an immigrant teen seeking an abortion because the department has learned she is an adult.

In a filing on Tuesday, the Justice Department said it had obtained birth certificate for the teen, identified only as Jane Roe, report the Washington Post and SCOTUSblog. Roe appears to be a 19-year-old adult rather than a 17-year-old minor. The teen is in government custody because she is apparently in the country illegally.

Government policy prevents federally funded shelters housing minors to facilitate an abortion, absent approval to deviate from the policy. Adult women in immigration custody are permitted to get abortions. The government arranges for the procedure and pays for transportation, according to court filings cited by the Post.

A federal judge had issued an order on Monday permitting abortions for Roe and a second teen in immigration custody who was identified as Jane Poe. Roe is about 10 weeks pregnant and Poe is 22 weeks pregnant. The government said it would allow Poe to have the abortion and did not appeal her case.

Because of Roe’s actual age, it appears that both teens will be able to get abortions without court intervention, the Washington Post points out.

A broader challenge to the government policy against facilitating abortions for minors in immigration custody is pending in Washington, D.C., federal court.