A coalition of 11 states has filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate a lower court ruling that allowed an undocumented teenager to obtain an abortion.
The teenager, identified only as "Jane Doe," underwent an abortion in October after a federal appeals court ruled that she was "legally entitled" to the procedure and ordered the government to allow it to proceed.
The federal government, however, is now asking the high court to consider the case because it could serve as a precedent for similar situations in the future.
On Monday, the attorneys general in Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia, as well the general counsel for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, filed a brief in support of the government's appeal.
"This court should vacate the court of appeals' order because the Constitution does not confer the right to an elective abortion on unlawfully-present aliens with virtually no ties to the country," the brief, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, stated, as reported by Christian News Network.
"The States have an interest in cooperating with the federal government to establish a consistent and correct understanding of the rights of aliens unlawfully present in the United States, as the States 'bear many of the consequences of illegal immigration.' The States also have 'a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life,' as well as an 'interest in promoting respect for human life at all stages in the pregnancy,'" it continued.
Paxton also noted that states take on substantial cost from illegal immigrants and expressed concern that more will enter the country unlawfully if more benefits are provided given to them.
Doe, 17, stayed at a taxpayer-funded shelter in Texas after entering the country illegally. When she asked to have an abortion, the shelter refused, citing a new government policy that they offer life-affirming support to women and girls who are pregnant.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on the teenager's behalf, and after a series of appeals, a federal appeals court ruled in her favor.
Doe aborted her baby before the government could file an emergency appeal. It was reported that the teenager needed mental health treatment several days after the procedure.
The federal government is asking the Supreme Court to send the case back to the district court, alleging that Doe's attorneys made misleading claims as to when the teenager would be getting the abortion.
The U.S. Department of Justice asked the ruling to be overturned and also recommended that the ACLU attorneys be punished for allegedly misleading the government about the abortion schedule.