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NEW YORK — Brigitte Amiri, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, was spending the weekend on Long Island with her family in late September when she got the call about Jane Doe.

She wasn’t Jane Doe just yet. She was a pregnant 17-year-old immigrant from Central America being held in federal custody after entering the U.S. illegally. She’d obtained a judge’s permission to get an abortion. But the Office of Refugee Resettlement — a branch of the Trump administration responsible for unaccompanied immigrant minors — wouldn’t allow it.


It required Jane Doe to visit a “crisis pregnancy center,” where she has said staff tried to discourage her from having an abortion and prayed for her. When she persisted, ORR blocked her from traveling to an abortion clinic.

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  • My question if others get to decided she is forced to carry a child to term because viable fetus as the same equality as any other human. Yet you have told the woman her body her health is to used to save this one. All life being equal. Under that same logic if I need a bone marrow transplant to save my life of kidney, are you stepping up to save mine or another? Bone marrow testing is a bit painful but you can save a potential life. Just as you are demanding woman to do. You should be willing to do the same. Step up to help cancer patients get tested for bone marrow. Offer up your kidney to a patient that makes might die without one. Shows the hipocracy when all you do is force women into this situation to save a life but do not feel you a required to do the same.

  • Alan- Abortion and Immigration has zero connection to that issue. This is just emotive editorializing not the objective, high quality journalism one would expect of a publication that is supposed to be dedicated to actual science and things that affect science.

  • Get your head out of the sand – or wherever else it is lodged. The current political climate is destroying science by the day. Check on grant funding lately, right here on STAT? Political appointees throughout the government are slashing billions of research dollars across all departments. Unless it supports the political agenda of whoever is at the top – funding is yanked. No different than it’s ever been – however, this carnage is the death knell for generations of research that will never get done. “First they came for…”

  • As someone who is sick and tired of hearing about abortion in the mainstream press, I was rather disappointed to see STAT publish this story. Stick to science, ditch the politics when it doesn’t impact actual research.

  • Every one of these cases does involve, objectively, the destruction of life. And back to the core/elemental question…. who is protecting the unborn? Never must this be forgotten.

  • What a spectacular piece of journalism. Exactly what keeps me recommending STAT and linking articles to colleagues – right up there with Vice and Axios. Keep up the good work of covering ALL sides of issues, not just becoming a sold-out mouthpiece for big pharma and their revolving door lobbyists in Washington whose self-incriminating quotes you diligently post. Exemplary work on the human and consumer side of cannabanoids’ role in pain control and 10s of percent reduction in opiate DEATHS. Were this to be a pharmaceutical study, it would be ethically impossible to continue the study and not provide it to the control group of afflicted survivors.

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