NOTICE: This is an archived press release. Information contained on this page may be outdated. Please refer to our latest press releases for up-to-date information.

Post date: October 24 2017

A.G. Schneiderman Leads Amicus Brief In Support Of Teen Detainee Seeking Abortion

 News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman 

October 24, 2017

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman


14 AGs Argue That Federal Government’s Efforts To Block Teen’s Abortion Violates States’ Rights, Constitutional Rights Of Women – Including Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman led a coalition of 14 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief in support of Jane Doe, a 17 year-old unaccompanied minor immigrant currently in federal custody, who is seeking an abortion. The Attorneys General argue that the federal government’s efforts to block her abortion violate both states’ rights and the constitutional rights of women. The ACLU is representing the 17-year-old in Garza v. Hargan.

“Every woman has a constitutional right to an abortion – including unaccompanied minor immigrants,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Forcing this young woman to remain pregnant against her will is not only cruel and inhumane – it’s illegal. We can’t allow President Trump’s radical agenda against women to gain traction anywhere in our country — and we’ll continue to fight to ensure Jane and all women get the justice they deserve.”

The amicus brief, filed with the D.C. Circuit, argues that the plaintiff’s petition for rehearing en banc should be granted, the panel’s order vacated, and the the federal government’s emergency motion for a stay of the District Court’s temporary restraining order denied. It was led by Attorney General Schneiderman, and filed by six Attorneys General from New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Today, eight additional Attorneys General will join the brief, from California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Vermont, and Washington.

“Amici are committed to advancing their interest in the safety of all women seeking abortion services without creating unwarranted obstacles to women’s access to those services… Amici also have an interest in ensuring that courts afford the proper degree of deference to their legislative and judicial judgments regarding the best interests of minor children. It is well established that questions of family law, including determinations about the health and safety of minors, are within the province of state law,” the brief states.

“First, the United States cannot impose a federal agency-consent requirement that does not exist under state law without infringing upon the sovereignty of those States that have decided to trust the independent judgment of minors who wish to exercise their constitutional right to obtain an abortion… Second, the government’s policy of withholding its consent to all requests for abortions, except in instances of sexual abuse and medical necessity, constitutes an undue burden on the constitutional rights of unaccompanied immigrant minors, including the movant.”

Last week, Attorney General Schneiderman sent a letter to Office of Refugee Resettlement Director E. Scott Lloyd, making clear that the Trump administration’s efforts to block the teen’s abortion are unconstitutional.