Top U.S. Court Sets Aside Order on Immigrant Teen's Abortion

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court set aside a lower court order that cleared the way for a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant teen to get an abortion in the middle of a legal fight over her rights.

In an unsigned opinion that didn’t draw any published dissents, the court said setting aside the order was the proper course given that the girl already had the procedure. The justices didn’t take sides on the Trump administration’s accusation that her lawyers misled the government to ensure she could have the abortion.

The high court action doesn’t directly affect a separate, broader order issued March 30 by a federal judge. That order bars the Trump administration from interfering with the ability of girls in federal custody to obtain abortions.

The administration had adopted a policy of refusing to "facilitate" abortions for unaccompanied minors by arranging for them to leave the shelters where they are staying.

In the case acted on Monday, the girl, identified in court papers as Jane Doe, entered the U.S. illegally and was in federal custody in a Texas shelter. She sued after government officials refused to let her travel with a court-appointed guardian to get an abortion.

The girl eventually won an Oct. 24 court order letting her attend an appointment. The administration says her lawyers led government officials to believe the session was for pre-abortion counseling, not the abortion itself. Texas requires a counseling session at least 24 hours before an abortion with the doctor who will perform the procedure.

She instead saw a doctor who had counseled her a week earlier, and that doctor performed the abortion during an early-morning appointment on Oct. 25.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.