No Refuge(es) here: Jane Doe and the Contested Right to ‘Abortion on Demand’

Lori Brown, J. Shoshanna Ehrlich, Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Using a multidisciplinary framework, this article examines the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s (ORR) policy decision to prohibit teens in federal immigration custody from obtaining abortions. As we argue, this appropriation of decisional authority over their reproductive bodies discursively cast them as doubly subversive for first breaching the southern border of the United States and then insisting upon the right to ‘abortion on demand’. Mapping these twinned agendas onto their bodies, these teens were configured as a threat to the racialised national order during the Trump era. Centring our analysis on the much publicised constitutional challenge to ORR’s abortion ban in Garza v. Hargan, we interrogate this policy as a powerful expression of legal duplicity, the spatial and bodily containment of those deemed other, and the privileging of the citizen-foetus over their undocumented mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-49
Number of pages23
JournalFeminist Legal Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2024


  • Abortion
  • Immigrant rights
  • Pregnant teens
  • Refugee
  • Reproductive governance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies


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