A federal judge, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, had sided with the teen and set dates for the procedure last week, saying it should take place Friday or Saturday, but the government appealed and the three-judge panel of the appeals court blocked the abortion from occurring then. The panel ruled 2-1 on Friday that the government should have until Oct. 31 to release the teen into the custody of a so-called sponsor, such as a relative in the United States, so she could obtain the abortion outside government custody.
On Tuesday, the full appeals court overruled the panel’s decision and returned the case to Chutkan, saying she was “best suited” to set new dates. Chutkan responded with an order saying the teen should be taken for counseling and the abortion “promptly and without delay.”
The teen had been allowed under an order from Chutkan to attend a counseling session last week.
But Susan Hays, legal director for the Texas group Jane’s Due Process, which is assisting the teen with obtaining an abortion, said the teenager will likely need to undergo a new counseling session with the doctor who would perform an abortion. That counseling session could be scheduled for as soon as Tuesday afternoon, with the abortion on Wednesday, Hays said.