Federal Judge Rules Undocumented Teenager Can Have An Abortion

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelOctober 19, 2017 2:27 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a pregnant, undocumented teenager held in federal custody in Texas can access an abortion. Another court had denied this request.

The 17-year-old is referred to in court filings as “Jane Doe.” She found herself in the middle of a legal dispute over whether unaccompanied immigrant minors have a right to an abortion in the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of Doe. The ACLU’s Brigitte Amiri points out Doe had even gotten legal authorization to ensure she could get the procedure.

“Even though she met the requirements in Texas for minors access to abortion, she went to court and got a judicial bypass of the parental consent requirement in Texas which authorizes her to consent to the abortion on her own, but nevertheless the federal government blocked her from getting an abortion so they would not transport her to the abortion facility,” Amiri says.

The federal judge ordered that the teen must be transported to an abortion appointment “promptly and without delay.” However, the Trump administration has appealed the ruling and asked for a decision by tonight.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders faced off in a CNN town hall meeting in the nation’s capital on Wednesday.

The Republican and Independent were debating the GOP’s proposed tax plan.
Sen. Sanders argued the cuts Republicans want to make will transfer wealth from the middle class to the rich.

“80-percent of the tax breaks in this proposal will go to the top one-percent,” Sanders said.

Sanders went on to call the tax plan “Robin Hood in reverse.” Cruz disagreed.

“It is the Democrats who are King John and the Sheriff of Nottingham,” Cruz said. “And Robin Hood is saying, tax collectors stop hammering people who are struggling, who are laboring in the fields, who are working, stop taking it to the castle, to give out to your buddies.”

The proposed tax plan would do things like lower the corporate tax rate to 20 percent and reduce the number of income tax brackets from seven to three.

Thousands of Hurricane Harvey victims waited hours to apply for emergency food stamps on Wednesday. That’s after state officials decided to reopen applications for three days.

People waited in heavy traffic, and then lines, at a park in Houston. It was the only site designated to receive applications for Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or D-SNAP, in the entire city.

Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee told the local NBC station in Houston there should have been more places for people to sign up, which has to be done in-person.

“We established a metro shuttle program that’s been working excellently, but the buses need to get on the grounds as well,” she said.

After Harvey, more than 600,000 people signed up for D-SNAP within a 15 day-period.