October 19, 2017
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, says the book of Proverbs. And yesterday, a single judge spoke words that could literally destroy an innocent unborn life. In the race to save a Texas baby, the Trump administration got some horrible news when a court ordered the government to step aside and let a young teen mom have an abortion. Although she was caught crossing the U.S.-Mexican border illegally, liberal Judge Tanya Chutkan insists she's still somehow "constitutionally entitled" to an elective abortion.
That's astounding to legal experts like our own Travis Weber, who agrees with the government's argument that "Neither Casey v. Planned Parenthood nor any case under it have held that pregnant minors from other countries are constitutionally entitled to elective abortions simply by entering the country illegally, being apprehended by border patrol, and insisting that the federal government facilitate their abortion even though they are free to voluntarily depart back to their home country."
This judge, carefully chosen by the ACLU suing on the teenager's behalf, doesn't care, fuming to Justice Department officials that "The Trump administration's action is shocking. A young woman is essentially being held hostage and forced by federal officials to continue a pregnancy against her will." Hardly, U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Scott Stewart fired back, saying the young mother is free to go back to her own country and get an abortion there. "Any undue-burden argument is particularly unsound here, where Ms. Doe could request a voluntary departure from the United States, yet has not done so and has instead has chosen to remain in federal custody. Her failure to make this request -- despite the option being made clear for weeks -- underscores that she is demanding that the government facilitate abortion."
In its appeal, the DOJ reminded the court that our government has "strong and constitutionally legitimate interests in promoting childbirth, in refusing to facilitate abortion, and in not providing incentives for pregnant minors to cross the border to obtain elective abortions in federal custody." Chutkan, who didn't even bother appearing objective, laughed at Stewart's suggestion that the girl's immigration status should have anything to do with her case. "This is remarkable," she fumed before demanding that the Trump administration step aside and make America a sanctuary nation for abortion.
For the 15-week-old unborn baby in Texas, time is short. The Justice Department rushed to file an appeal, hoping to beat the 9 p.m. Thursday night deadline. "While there isn't much reasoning in the order," FRC's Weber points out, "it's another sad case of an activist judge assuming an ‘I-know-what's-best-for-you' stance -- probably spurred on by animus to President Trump. While it's true that constitutional rights generally apply to anyone on our territory (whether a citizen or not), the executive branch has much greater authority on the issue of border control because of national security concerns."
In the meantime, this case isn't about one child -- but dozens. The ACLU has been clear from the beginning that its goal is to give every illegal immigrant in custody the same access to taxpayer-supported abortion. So if you're wondering why conservatives are making such a big deal about the president's judicial nominees, look no further than this case. Activists judges like Chutkan, who literally hold life and death in their hands, are making decisions that not only contradict the law -- but the will of most Americans. By hand-picking solid, originalist judges, Donald Trump is helping to balance the courts tipped by Obama's politically-driven radicals. And hopefully, save innocent lives in the process.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.