Trump Administration Stalls Undocumented Teenager’s Access to Abortion

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.


By Becky FogelOctober 20, 2017 1:33 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 hearing is underway this morning in a federal appeals court to determine whether an undocumented teenager in U.S. custody in Texas can obtain an abortion.

The young woman is 17 years old.

Earlier this week, a federal court ruled that she should be allowed to move ahead with the procedure, which she has been prevented from doing so far. The Trump administration blocked that ruling on appeal yesterday, leading to this morning’s hearing.

Katherine Dorsey is representing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which has refused to facilitate the young woman’s access to abortion.

The panel of three judges pressed Dorsey on whether adult undocumented women, similarly detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, are able to access abortion services.

“Plaintiffs have cited I believe a policy that ICE, when individuals are in ICE custody they are able to obtain an abortion,” Dorsey said.

The teenager’s lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union have argued that federal officials are forcing her to continue her pregnancy against her will.

The teenager is about 15 weeks pregnant.

A new report looks at which cities across the country have policies, laws, and services that are inclusive of their LGBTQ residents.

It’s called the Municipal Equality Index, or MEI. Of the 506 cities it examines, 25 of them are in Texas. On average, those Texas cities earned a score of 41 out of 100 – compared to the national average of 57.

Still, several cities in the state earned standout scores for their protection and inclusion of LGBTQ people.

Xavier Persad is with the Human Rights Campaign, the civil rights organization that has been producing the annual report since 2012.

“So we designate what we call all-stars in this report, and these are high-scoring cities that excel despite being located in a state with no inclusive, statewide non-discrimination law,” Persad says. “And out of Texas, we had four, which is a really good number. Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.”

Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth earned a perfect 100. San Antonio received a 95 on the M-E-I Scorecard.

Persad says the two cities in Texas that earned the lowest scores were Laredo and Irving, with a rating of 6 out of 100.

You can find the scores for all 25 Texas cities that were reviewed here.

Former President George W. Bush says bigotry seems emboldened, but has no place in the United States.

“Bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American Creed,” he says.

The former Texas governor made the remarks during a wide-ranging speech the George W. Bush Institute hosted in New York on Thursday.

He also criticized the current political discourse, arguing that nationalism has been distorted into nativism.

You can view the entire speech here.