Women spoke out in a six-hour broadcast and assembled on Capitol Hill Tuesday to protest that an illegal immigrant had to wait to get an abortion while being held in custody.
The protesters hope that other illegal minors won’t have to face the same waiting period.
Organized by the 1 in 3 Campaign, the 2018 Abortion Speakout event featured women who’ve had abortions telling their stories, in hopes to advocate for increased abortion access for illegal immigrants and minority populations. The 1 in 3 Campaign describes itself as a “grassroots movement” seeking to start a conversation about abortion by sharing stories that build a culture of compassion, empathy, and support for access to basic health care, according to its website.
“While the experience was negative, the experience was never negative,” said one speaker, who went by only Emily. Last names were withheld for privacy reasons. She recounted, laughing, that she found out she was pregnant in a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant when she was 19 years old. “I automatically decided I wanted to have an abortion, I didn’t even think about it,” she said.
In addition to the broadcast, women used megaphones to share their stories on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday night before meeting with members of Congress to discuss abortion access legislation. The women referred to their stories as “acts of resistance” to President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Tuesday broadcast and assembly come in response to a court case involving 17-year old illegal immigrant “Jane Doe” who crossed the border illegally and was roughly 15 weeks pregnant when she had her abortion on Oct. 25. The teen sought to have an abortion at an earlier date, but could not do so until a Texas judge ruled in her favor after a lengthy court battle, according to Politico.
Illegal immigrants Jane Roe, Jane Poe and Jane Moe also had abortions under the provision of Trump’s administration. The abortions were covered by private sponsors, but taxpayer dollars paid for transportation, security and other related costs.
“The Trump Administration and this Congress will stop at nothing in its abuses of power and its attacks on already marginalized groups – young people, Muslims, immigrants, and LGBT people. And their attacks on reproductive rights and justice have been ceaseless,” the Abortion Speakout’s Facebook event says, despite acknowledging that Jane Doe did in fact have an abortion.
Tune in tomorrow at 3pm for the annual 1 in 3 abortion Speakout! This year is dedicated to Jane Doe, an undocumented minor who had to fight for her right to an abortion while being held in detention by immigration officials. RSVP now! https://t.co/YJtR6d2DQ7 pic.twitter.com/o2c3G7OkZd
— Advocates For Youth (@AdvocatesTweets) February 26, 2018
Tuesday’s events are “a mistake on an international scale,” Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins told The Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday. “This attempt by the ACLU and abortion lobby to use undocumented teens in an attempt to expand a ‘right’ to abortion by creating an international Jane Roe is a travesty of justice.”
“These [illegal immigrant] women deserve better than to be pawns in an abortion industry,” Hawkins also said.
The 2018 Speakout is the 4th annual 1 in 3 Campaign speak out.