Underage Immigrants and Abortion Access

Two unauthorized teenaged immigrants who sued the Trump administration to be allowed to obtain abortions while in custody have finally won the right to abortion access. Meanwhile, the legal fight continues over the policy that had prevented them from doing so. The teenagers were being held in government-run shelters for young immigrants who are caught crossing the border illegally and without an adult. But the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the agency that operates these facilities, had adopted a policy in March prohibiting federally funded shelters from taking “any action that facilitates” an abortion for an unaccompanied minor without the approval of the agency’s director. That director is E. Scott Lloyd, a champion of “religious values” and abortion foe, who was appointed to the position in March (so much appears to have happened in March—coincidence?). Since the girls were not of age, Lloyd claimed the right to act as their guardian and denied them abortion access. A spokesperson for ORR explained that “When there’s a child in the program who is pregnant, [Lloyd] has been reaching out to her and trying to help as much as possible with life-affirming options.” The young women were represented in court by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and were finally granted abortion access in mid-December. The ACLU is hoping to continue the case as a class-action lawsuit, which would prevent implementation of this ORR policy in the future.

THANKS to

• American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, NY, NY 10004, (212) 549-2500

CASTIGATION to

• E. Scott Lloyd, Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement, Department of Health and Human Services, Mary E. Switzer Building, 330 C Street SW, Washington DC 20201, (202) 401-9246

REQUEST support for privacy rights and abortion access for minors attempting to enter the U.S. from

  • Senator Chuck Grassley, Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee, 135 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-3744
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ranking Member, Senate Judiciary Committee, 331 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-3841
  • Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chair Senate Subcommittee on Border • Security and Immigration, 517 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-2934
  • Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member, Senate Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration, 711 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510, (202) 224-2152
  • Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Chair, House Judiciary Committee, 2309 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515, (202) 225-5431
  • Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Ranking Member, House Judiciary Committee, 2109 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington DC 20515, (202) 225-5635
  • Representative Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Chair, House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, 1523 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515, (202) 225-6611
  •  Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, 1401 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515, (202) 225-3072

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