An undocumented immigrant teenager being held by federal authorities ended her pregnancy Wednesday after a judge ordered the government to take the 17-year-old to an abortion facility.
The girl identified only as Jane Doe in court papers, is being held in Texas for illegally entering the country. She was nearly 16 weeks pregnant when she crossed the border.
Texas law bans most abortions after 20 weeks.
The teen's operation was done after a long legal battle with judges handing down contradictory rulings.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed a three-judge panel of the same court without first holding oral argument. This sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who ordered the government to "promptly and without delay" transport the teen to a Texas abortion provider.
Texas law requires counseling from a doctor at least 24 hours in advance of an abortion. The teen had spoken with a counselor last week, allowing her to go forward once the judge issued her order.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement, the "loss of innocent human life is tragic" and criticized the Justice Department for failing to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Paxton indicated he was prepared to file a brief at the high court in support of the government's position on behalf of 11 other attorneys general, and said the appeals court ruling would allow anyone outside the United States to unlawfully enter and obtain an abortion.
Source: The Washington Post