17-Year-Old in Federal Custody Granted Abortion

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BROWNSVILLE – An appeals court is now putting the decision to allow a 17-year-old immigrant girl to get an abortion, on hold.

The Department of Health and Human Services filed an appeal against the judge’s ruling Wednesday night.

The teenager is currently being held in a Brownsville shelter, operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The teen, who’s believed to be about 15 weeks pregnant, already received a state court order allowing her to have an abortion.

Texas law bans most abortions after the 20th week. It also requires women seeking an abortion to meet with the doctor who will perform the procedure a day beforehand.

Susan Hays, legal director for Texas-based Jane’s Due Process, a non-profit that helps pregnant minors obtain an abortion, said the teen was receiving counseling Thursday morning.

The appeals court could lift the stay during a hearing Friday morning.

If that happens the teen would still potentially be able to have the procedure later that day or Saturday. 


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