Acceding to a request from the Trump administration, the Supreme Court has voided a federal appeals court's ruling upholding the right of teens in immigration custody to seek abortions.
Justices said that the dispute was no longer valid because the undocumented 17-year-old at the center of the case had an abortion before the justices could hear the case.
Last year, the minor in question, known in court documents as Jane Doe, was detained in Texas shortly after crossing the border. She received a judicial waiver to a state requirement that minors obtain parental consent for an abortion, and a district court ruled that the federal government must "promptly and without delay" allow the teen to visit an abortion provider near the detention facility where she was being held.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Texas attorneys representing Jane Doe said the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement intervened to block the procedure even though she had private funds and obtained a judge's permission in accordance with state law, Politico reports.
The case was the first in a series of court battles over abortion policy in the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which takes responsibility for the care of unaccompanied minors who enter the United States illegally.
Though the Supreme Court has set aside this particular case, the issue of abortions for minors in immigration custody will likely come up again, especially given the Trump administration's policy of resisting efforts to facilitate abortions for detainees.