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US court urged to allow abortions for immigrant teens

Monday, December 18, 2017

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WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A US court on Monday heard arguments from lawyers for two pregnant teenaged immigrants who are being prevented from having abortions while in custody.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), in a motion filed with the US District Court for the District of Columbia, identified the two girls by the pseudonyms "Jane Roe" and "Jane Poe.",p> "Jane Roe and Jane Poe seek a temporary restraining order to prohibit the federal government from continuing to block them from obtaining an abortion," the ACLU motion said.

"Both are 17-year-old unaccompanied immigrant minors who are currently in the federal government's legal custody, living in government-funded shelters," it said.

"Ms Roe and Ms Poe are pregnant and are resolute in their desire to have an abortion," the ACLU said.

The lawsuit is the second concerning abortion in just a few weeks pitting the ACLU against the administration of President Donald Trump.

Judge Tanya Chutkan, who heard the case on Monday, allowed another teenaged immigrant girl in federal custody to have an abortion in October.

"We've already stopped the Trump administration from blocking one young woman's abortion," ACLU attorney Brigitte Amiri said in reference to the previous case.

"It's unreal that the federal government is trying to force more young women to continue their pregnancies against their will," Amiri said.

The US Supreme Court affirmed the right to abortion nationwide in 1973 but the landmark legislation has come under threat since Trump took office in January.

The nearly century-old ACLU has undertaken numerous legal challenges of the Trump administration.

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