Columbus — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has joined AGs from six other states in trying to block a young woman from obtaining an abortion in Texas. In a press release justifying his actions, DeWine’s campaign blatantly lied about abortion funding — in truth, private funding has been secured for the young woman.
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit to force government officials to permit the minor, who is an immigrant, access to abortion care. DeWine signed onto an amicus brief (https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/TX_Amicus_Brief.pdf) against the effort to assist the 17 year old woman. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Office of Refugee Resettlement, is refusing to allow pregnant minors in its custody to obtain abortion care and is forcing unaccompanied minors who decide to have an abortion to submit to anti-abortion “counseling” from so-called crisis pregnancy centers. The woman — identified as Jane Doe — may be up to 14 weeks’ pregnant, according to her attorney, Rochelle Garza. Texas law prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks. Further delay could push her into the second trimester.
Speaking against DeWine’s interference, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio Executive Director Kellie Copeland said: “Mike DeWine has bent over backwards to punish women in Ohio, and now he’s interfering in the medical care of a young woman in Texas. His actions are immoral. There is no reason this refugee should have to pay the price for his anti-choice agenda. DeWine has sunk so low that he’s fundraising off his efforts to block this young woman from accessing a privately funded abortion.”
DeWine’s campaign solicited donors with this message: “American taxpayers should not pay for illegal aliens to get abortions,” but in fact, an advocacy organization, Jane’s Due Process, worked with local abortion funds to obtain funding for the procedure.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has refused to release Doe for medical care, even to her court-appointed guardian ad litem. The actions of the federal government have now delayed Doe’s access to abortion care for three weeks – past the time for her to obtain the less intrusive medication abortion.
Copeland continued: “Mike DeWine has used his position as Ohio’s attorney general to oppose access to birth control coverage for women who receive their health insurance from a religiously affiliated employers, and he launched a high profile investigation of Planned Parenthood that ultimately discovered that they were following all state and federal laws. There may be no other politician in Ohio more determined to abuse his elected office for the sole purpose of blocking women’s access to reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortion care, than Mike DeWine.”
The ORR blocked the young woman from receiving unbiased pregnancy options counseling and an accurate confirmation of the stage of her pregnancy at the nearby state-licensed abortion clinic. Instead, ORR forced caseworkers at the shelter to take Doe to a religious doctor for counseling and a pregnancy test.
ACLU in Court to Fight Federal Officials for Blocking Young Woman’s Abortion in Texas