In a 2008 memo, both the Bush and Obama administrations laid out guidelines allowing federal funds to be used for abortions of teenage immigration detainees if they are rape victims. Now, the Trump administration is trying to do exactly the opposite at a time when they are also determined to deport every illegal immigrant they find.
‘The Trump administration attempted to block an abortion for an undocumented teen in federal custody despite her statements that she was a rape victim, the Justice Department revealed Thursday — in a sweeping departure from the policies of the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.’
Department of Justice lawyers disclosed this attempt in a memo that was filed in federal court in Washington just one day after the girl obtained the abortion with help from private donors. According to POLITICO:
‘The 17-year-old, known as Jane Poe in court filings, stated she was a victim of sexual assault in her home country, which has not been publicly identified, according to the memo from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. ORR Director Scott Lloyd, whose office is responsible for the care of undocumented teens in federal custody, appeared to accept that the girl was raped but rejected the request for an abortion.’
These videos detail another undocumented teen’s legal battle for an abortion:
Despite Lloyd himself describing the girls’ sexual assault as a “reality” and one ORR official recommending that she be allowed to obtain an abortion, he blocked her from having the procedure done, saying that her pregnancy was too advanced. Lloyd said:
‘I cannot authorize our program to participate in the abortion requested here, even in this most difficult case. At nearly 22 weeks, the child has at least a fighting chance at survival if born.’
Lloyd went on to say that even though is very little evidence of this:
‘it is possible, and perhaps likely, that this young woman would go on to experience an abortion as an additional trauma on top of the trauma she experiences as a result of her sexual assault.’
Lloyd was previously a lawyer with the Knights of Columbus, which is a Catholic organization. He holds an ultra-conservative stance that his office has a constitutional right to deny access to abortion for rape victims, as the fetus is considered a human being with primary rights in this situation. Since Lloyd took over, the office has blocked abortions for three undocumented teens in custody, and has landed in court because of it.
Lloyd wrote in a memo:
‘In this request, we are being asked to participate in killing a human being in our care. I cannot direct the program to proceed in this manner. We cannot be a place of refuge while we are at the same time a place of violence. We have to choose, and we ought to choose [to] protect life rather than to destroy it.’
After this memo was released, Planned Parenthood called for Lloyd to be dismissed from his position. Planned Parenthood’s Vice President Dana Singiser said in a statement:
‘This memo makes clear that Scott Lloyd should immediately be removed from his position as director of ORR. He is unfit to serve in government. Lloyd is imposing his personal beliefs on the young women in his agency’s care — to control their bodies and violate their constitutional rights. His overreach and abuse of power puts these young women’s lives in danger.’
Here’s what Twitter had to say about the Trump administration’s outrageous actions:
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