Lawyers for the Trump administration moved to dismiss an appeal Tuesday night in the case of an undocumented teenage immigrant in US custody who seeks an abortion.
The filing was an unexpected twist after a lower court had ruled Monday that the government could not block the young immigrant’s access to an abortion. The government was appealing that ruling when it discovered the girl was not 17 years old, but 19.
Her age meant she would be transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to the custody of the Department of Homeland Security and no longer would be subject to the HHS office’s policies on underage teens seeking abortions.
In Tuesday night’s filing, the administration told the court that the young woman – known as Jane Roe in court papers – had been turned over to DHS and had been released.
The woman’s lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union welcomed the news but vowed to continue to fight what they say is the administration’s policy prohibiting federally funded shelters from taking any action to facilitate abortion access for unaccompanied minors.
“The ACLU will keep fighting until this dystopian policy is struck down, and we have justice for every Jane,” senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri said in a statement.