Jane Doe: Her Body, Her Choice


New York Times

Women gather to protest Jane Doe being denied her right to abort.

Jesse Zambrano, Staff Writer

Since the 2016 presidential election, there has been much upheaval regarding immigration, both legal and illegal. The POTUS surrounded most of his campaign  around solutions to one of the “greatest” threats facing the United States, also known as the illegal immigration of certain “bad men”; nonetheless, Trump was really referring to all the men, women, and children who come to the US in search of starting anew. To go with this, another controversy that is always brought up in political debates is abortion. Trump, who is a member of the Republican Party and Pro-Life group, has made it clear which side he is with on numerous occasions and is committed to doing what ever may be asked of him in order to have Pro-Life leaders by his side. Recently, his administration made headlines  when they refused to allow a 17-year old, undocumented girl have an abortion. Since then, debates have risen all over the nation regarding the question of “should this young girl be allowed to have an abortion on American Soil, while she is being detained in a detention center in Texas?” Ultimately, a woman should not have to go through this scarring experience for her to be able to execute her right to an abortion.

“It is beyond egregious that a woman must have to go through this ordeal to do what’s best for her body, and the fact that she is an illegal immigrant and only seventeen years old has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that is a danger for her to go through with a pregnancy that is unwanted and in top of that, very expensive. To be put like this, it is her body, her choice. No one should be allowed to tell her otherwise,” sophomore Cameron Payne said.

In 1973, history was made with the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Roe v. Wade case, which opened the argument about abortion in the early ’70s. As a result of this case, women are allowed to have abortions, however, to certain limitations that are set in bounds by the State in which they legally reside. In fact, it’s no shameful secret that abortions are legal in the U.S.. Are abortions unpopular among those with religious affiliations? Sure, at least most of the time. Does this mean the government is permitted to detain a person for weeks in order to meet the legal weeks of fetal life required by the State of Texas, therefore, legally denying a person’s decision to have an abortion? No, and it all ties to when women were denied the most simplest things and were under constant scrutiny by man. Society has come a long way in allowing women into the workforce and giving them the right to vote. Thus, no one person, including the government, has the right to take away a woman’s undeniable right to abort an unwanted pregnancy, just like they do not have the right to take away a woman’s right to vote or work.

Jane Doe, a name given to the young girl in order to maintain a confidential identity because she is a minor, had obtained a judge’s permission to acquire an abortion without parental consent as she entered the U.S. without a guardian. Doe sought to fight for her right to choose what to do with her body, as she repeatedly claimed she isn’t ready to take care of a child but was pushed by religious groups to rethink her decision to abort. On top of this, she has not yet built the life she has been fighting so hard for. “I’m not ready to be a parent,” she said in a statement provided by her lawyers. “I made my decision, and that is between me and God. Through all of this, I have never changed my mind.” The Federals Appeals court sided with the young girl on Wednesday to be allowed to leave the center in which she was being detained, to have the abortion she wanted.

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Like many others, there were those who kept to the single mindset that because this young girl was not on American Soil legally, she should not be allowed to have an abortion because it would create an influx of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S to receive this type of medical treatment. Attorney General for the State of Texas, Ken Paxton, stated that he and 11 other State Attorney Generals were prepared to file a legal brief with the high court to help defend the Trump Administration’s position of not allowing this girl to not be granted an abortion. 

Another view brought up during this time of debate is the life of the fetus. How could the United States allow an American citizen to be euthanized, before it even gets to reap the rewards of life? Many of those who share a religious affiliation, such as Christianity, believe that an abortion is an act of murder. Nonetheless in terms of medicine, there are several moments in the nine-month pregnancy where the fetus is not independent from the mother’s lifeline, therefore, would not survive outside the mother’s womb. This is the time period when abortions are typically performed unless deemed emergent, which it will then be left to a doctor’s discretion. Furthermore, concluding that abortions are not an act of murder since the fetus has no life outside of the mother’s womb.

Fortunately, siding with the young girl was the New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, who was ready to defend her through the ordeal. To some, both Doe and the unborn child were let down, but mostly the child because it will not have the chance to grow up, make something of itself or live its life. Medically speaking, the fetus had not yet gotten to the point of viable life, which in the State of Texas is 20 weeks; therefore, since Doe was at 16 weeks when the abortion was committed there was no foul play. Furthermore, Doe was forced to endure unwanted pressure from religious groups made of  men and women who tried to change her mind. These religious groups were brought in by officers and did not allow Doe to leave until the group allotted her to. This goes to show just how far government officials tried to make this young girl have an unwanted child. Additionally, the government’s actions were humanely wrong because they were a violation of Doe’s rights, especially how they tried to detain her until she was no longer able to have a legal abortion.

“I believe, with all of the 17 years I have lived on this earth, that if someone really needs to abort a fetus, then they should be allowed to. It’s a personal decision, and not up to the state to decide whether a person should get an abortion or not. The state, in this case Trump’s Administration, does not care for the young mother’s psychological well being if they force her to have this baby. Honestly, who are they to intervene with her choice?” senior Tristan Trochu said.  

Furthermore, Doe left Central America in order to chase the life she had always dreamed of. Doe wants to go to school, become a nurse and live comfortably in the United States, which are all reasons as to why she left her home in the first place. However, an unexpected child this early in her stage of life would interfere with the plans she has so desperately fought for. Doe is and was not ready to become a mother, yet Trump’s Administration wanted to make that decision for her. In many cases around the world, there is a myriad of young and older women in the same situation as Doe, who are jostled around by the government and are not allowed to practice their right to abort the fetus, if desired. Society as a whole has claimed to evolve since the times of women’s suffrage, but situations like this prove otherwise. The Doe vs Trump’s Administration situation has opened the eyes of many who lived in denial when it came to how hard women actually have it in the real world. Although Doe was able to win this time, most of these women are forced to live a life based on what society and the government wants, a misconstrued way to live.

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