In late October, the case of an illegal immigrant teen in government custody seeking an abortion came to a close when the ACLU won its case against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), thanks to a decision from Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. The government originally refused to take the teen for an abortion, arguing, according to the Washington Times, that “federal law prevented the government from being involved in an elective abortion.” Regardless of this, “Judge Chutkan rejected that argument and cleared the path for the abortion, and the government staffed it — seemingly in conflict with federal laws restricting taxpayer funding for abortions.”
The reasonable fear of many is that Judge Chutkan’s decision will now pave the way for other illegal immigrants in government custody to receive abortions with the assistance of the federal government. The Times writes, “The [ACLU] has asked the judge to create a nationwide policy guaranteeing illegal immigrants access to abortion.”
But aside from the fact that an innocent child was killed in the second trimester of pregnancy, and aside from the fact that the judge’s ruling appears to conflict with federal law, there are other problems.
1) The ACLU stands accused of lying.
The DOJ says the ACLU “l[ied] to the government about the timeline of [the] underage illegal immigrant’s abortion,” according to LifeSiteNews, and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court “to punish” the ACLU for this action (emphasis added):
According to the brief the DOJ filed with the Supreme Court, the ACLU moved Jane Doe’s abortion appointment to a day earlier than was originally planned and “kept the government in the dark about when Ms. Doe was scheduled to have an abortion.”
Jane Doe’s lawyers replaced a pre-abortion appointment with the actual abortion, according to the DOJ, and then informed the government after the baby had been aborted.
The ACLU “misled the United States as to the timing of Jane Doe’s abortion,” said DOJ spokesman Devin M. O’Malley. “After informing Justice Department attorneys that the procedure would occur on October 26th, Jane Doe’s attorneys scheduled the abortion for the early morning hours of October 25th, thereby thwarting Supreme Court review.”
“In light of that, the Justice Department believes the judgment under review should be vacated, and discipline may be warranted against Jane Doe’s attorneys,” said O’Malley.
2) The teen is now seeking mental health treatment.
The Washington Times is reporting that new court documents reveal that the 17-year-old girl is now seeking mental health treatment, and the government feels that information about her recent abortion is pertinent to the situation. The Times says, “The Trump administration asked a judge to be freed from a gag order so the girl’s doctors, and any future sponsor who takes the girl from a government-run shelter, can be told of the abortion, saying it’s an important part of her history.”
And it is.
While we do not know the reasons why this teen is seeking mental health treatment, what we do know is that abortion doesn’t magically “fix” things.
Live Action News’ Cassy Fiano reported in 2016 that “29 out of 30 studies found that women who have abortions are at an increased risk for mental health disorders” which can include things like “depression, anxiety, suicidal behavior, and drug and alcohol abuse.”
A 2013 meta-analysis of approximately 30 studies on abortion research between 1995 and 2011, reported on by Live Action News’ Susan Michelle-Hanson, revealed that fetal loss — whether through abortion or miscarriage — can be “traumatic” for women (emphasis added):
“… It is a risk factor for mental illness – both in the case of abortion and in miscarriage – and its impact on a woman’s life can erroneously be underestimated. Most studies show that abortion has a greater impact on women’s mental health than childbearing; all remaining studies show similar mental consequences and only one seems to have noted a worse outcome for childbearing. Even the birth of an unplanned child is often traumatic, but abortion seems to be even more traumatic, or similar with regard to the psychological outcomes; this should be taken into account when counseling women scared by a non-desired pregnancy. Making their choices, women should be clearly informed.” (Bellieni & Buonocore, 2013)
These researchers concluded that more attention should be paid to women who experience abortion and miscarriage, “to prevent negative mental consequences” and because they view these mental health issues as “a serious public health problem,” and believe “the hypothesis that abortion is an independent risk factor for mental health” has validity.
The teen in question had her abortion around 15-16 weeks gestation, which means that she likely had a D&E (dilation and evacuation) abortion, in which the preborn child was dismembered piece by piece while still alive. This method is described in the animated video below by former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino:
This is not some simple, tidy little clinical procedure. It is gruesome. And it was physically risky for this teenager, as well. AbortionProcedures.com notes that with a second trimester D&E, “Long-term damage from second trimester abortion is more frequent than for abortions in the first trimester. Because the cervix has to be so widely dilated to extract the larger child, the risk of cervical damage is much greater, increasing the risk that a woman will be unable to carry a future pregnancy to term. The CDC also estimates that the risk of death increases by 38% for each additional week of gestation.”
We cannot, as a society, continue to pretend that abortion has no ill psychological or physical effects on women and girls. Researchers have noted that abortion is potentially “more traumatic” psychologically than an unplanned pregnancy, and we need to listen. Women who choose abortion after being told it is perfectly safe and minimally risky are not being given the whole story, and this is not pro-woman.
Women deserve to know the truth – that abortion takes real human lives, and that abortion can also have significantly negative ramifications for women.