CHARLESTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a coalition of 10 other states to defend the right for the federal government to refuse abortions to unlawfully present, underage immigrants.
West Virginia is joined by Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Kentucky. The states filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in which they supported the federal policy that prohibits the government from facilitating abortions for unaccompanied juveniles taken into custody after they illegally crossed the border into the United States.
Morrisey said juveniles who enter the country illegally do not have a constitutional right to an elective abortion.
"The lower court ruling not only erodes the meaning of the U.S. Constitution but encourages more foreign youth to enter America illegally under the promise of such procedures," Morrisey said in a news release.
The amici curiae brief states that the federal district's court ruling would essentially allow immigrants who have entered the country illegally to have a right to elective abortions that are not medically necessary.
“It is crucial that our country not grant unlawfully present, underage immigrants the same rights given to U.S. citizens under the Constitution," Morrisey said in an interview with The West Virginia Record.
The brief states that until this litigation, no court had ever recognized such broad rights for immigrants entering the U.S. illegally with "virtually no connections to this country."
"The federal government has the right to refuse to facilitate unnecessary medical procedures, specifically abortions, for unaccompanied juveniles who have illegally entered the country," Morrisey said.
The coalition of states urged the appeals court to reverse the decision.
"The lower court ruling dangerously blurs the lines that were distinctly drawn out by our nation’s founding fathers," Morrisey said. "If the ruling is left intact, it will encourage more underage youth to illegally enter the county in hopes of similar treatment."