If the American Civil Liberties Union has its way, Catholic Charities and other faith-based organizations providing care for illegal alien minors will be forced to proclaim to the girls in their care during the shelter’s orientation that they have a “right” to an abortion. The ACLU seeks to compel this speech under the auspices of providing “notice” to the members of the recently certified class action in Garza v. Hargan.
The Garza case first made headlines in October of 2017, when the ACLU sued the federal government, trying to force the Office of Refugee Resettlement to release unadmitted illegal alien minors to obtain abortions. The ORR countered that its refusal to facilitate abortions for minors within its care did not create a substantial burden under Supreme Court abortion jurisprudence because the minor could voluntarily return to her own country of origin or seek release to a sponsor. In response, the ACLU stressed that it did not want the government’s assistance, but merely wanted the ORR to allow others to transport the girl to an abortion clinic, pay for her abortion, and then return her to federal custody.
The ACLU’s argument convinced a federal district court judge to order the government to release the plaintiff, identified only as J.D., and the D.C. Circuit, hearing the case en banc — meaning all active members of the court participated in the case — affirmed the lower court’s ruling. Before the DOJ had a chance to appeal, J.D. had her abortion, prompting the government to ask the Supreme Court to vacate the circuit court’s decision. That petition is pending.
Meanwhile, the ACLU added as plaintiffs three individuals, Jane Moe, Jane Poe, and Jane Roe. The district court directed the ORR to release one of the girls for an abortion, while the ORR released the second girl to a sponsor, and the third girl was released on her own recognizance, after the government discovered she was, in fact, not a minor.
Following Judge Chutkan’s decision, the DOJ filed a motion to stay the ruling pending appeal, and promptly appealed to the D.C. Circuit. The ACLU opposed the motion for a stay and filed a motion for “notice of the class.” In this motion, under the guise of providing “notice to the class” of “all pregnant unaccompanied immigrant minors who are or will be in Defendants’ legal custody,” the ACLU asked the court to “require ORR-funded shelters to orally … as part of the orientation for new unaccompanied minors,” inform girls that if they are pregnant they “have the right to decide whether to have the baby or to have an abortion.”
The ACLU also asked the court to require the ORR-funded shelters to provide this information again orally at the time a girl is informed she is pregnant. Additionally, the ACLU wants to force the ORR-funded shelters to post the notice in English and Spanish and to distribute a separate copy to the girls during orientation.
Full story at The Federalist.