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Illegal immigrant teen seeks mental health treatment after winning court battle to have abortion

(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The illegal immigrant teenager, who acquired an abortion last month after winning a highly-publicized court battle, is now seeking mental health treatment, according to new court documents from the government.

On Monday, the Trump administration asked a federal judge to overturn a previous gag order that prevents the government from informing any future sponsor that the teenager had an abortion, The Washington Times reported.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, an Obama appointee to the federal bench, had imposed restrictions on the government's ability to disclose information about the juvenile girl's abortion, citing privacy laws. However, the government said that it needs those restrictions to be relaxed to secure to the best care for the young immigrant, who has been identified only as "J.D." in court documents.

"The Court's restriction, as we understand it, prohibits HHS or the shelter from informing prospective mental health providers of J.D.'s abortion or sharing her medical records concerning that abortion," said Jonathan White, deputy director for the government's children's programs, in the court document.

"This information would normally be shared with such health care providers; reporting recent medical and surgical procedures is a standard intake question for mental health treatment," he added.

The government further noted that the order restricts its ability to find an adequate sponsor who could provide a home for J.D. in the U.S. and properly care for the teenager.

However, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) contended that the should not be allowed to share information about the teenager's abortion without her consent.

"They have already violated her privacy and risked her safety by telling her mother about her pregnancy. The court's order protects [J.D.] from further constitutional violations," said ACLU attorney Brigitte Amiri.

The Trump administration had tried to prevent the teenager from having the abortion, saying federal law prohibited the government from being involved in an elective abortion. Chutkan rejected the argument and allowed the teen to obtain the procedure.

Last week, the government accused the ACLU of lying about J.D.'s abortion schedule, which took place on Oct. 25.

Some have raised questions why the Trump administration had failed to appeal the Oct. 24 court ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, and allowed the procedure to take place.

In the petition to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department explained that its attorneys were informed that the abortion would occur on Oct. 26, but J.D. went ahead with the procedure in the "early morning hours of October 25th, thereby thwarting Supreme Court review."

The DOJ is now asking the high court to vacate the lower court ruling to eliminate it as a precedent and is also calling on the justices to consider punishing the ACLU's lawyers.

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