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Old 20 October 2017, 11:35 PM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
Join Date: 30 July 2003
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 14,386

The headline puts a slightly negative slant on it, but I've been trying to avoid linking too many Washington Post articles (I subscribe now, but I know not everyone does, and you might hit a paywall). The court apparently said that the Federal government cannot block Jane Doe from having an abortion, but has given them ten days to find a temporary guardian so that they can avoid having to "facilitate" an abortion. ("Facilitating" in this case meaning just saying "OK.")

I listened to the arguments, and the court made it clear that it would prefer an alternative to making a ruling on the constitutional issues, since they touch on two highly sensitive issues (abortion and immigration). They did not buy the government's argument that they weren't actually denying the right to an abortion because the teen has the choice of leaving the country. One of the judges was pushing very hard on the idea of trying to find a sponsor for her -- effectively pushing the case out of the government's hands -- but they really seemed to trivialize the process, as though it would be simple to do within a few days, which I find highly improbable. (There has to be a background investigation and a home visit, among other things.)

I'm much more inclined to agree with the plaintiff's attorney, who stated it pretty bluntly: sure, we can talk about sponsors and other hypotheticals -- but Jane Doe's rights are being denied today, and harm is being done in the process. (She's already been delayed three weeks, pushing the abortion out of the first trimester.)

This to me seems like they're adding another delay, and much more complication, just so the government can pretend they're not involved -- although it was pointed out repeatedly that the government routinely goes further in "facilitating" abortions for adult detainees and women in federal prisons.

But it's better than a complete loss, I suppose.
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