A teen immigrant, who became pregnant after being raped in her home country, sought an abortion but was offered only coloring books and Bible verses by the Trump administration.
The 16-year-old girl requested a safe abortion, but officials from the federal government instead took her to a religiously affiliated anti-abortion facility for “counseling.” VICE News cited a government email in their report on the matter.
… After arriving in the United States, the teenager entered the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which oversees the care of underage migrants who enter the country without authorization and without their parents.
The teen was taken to the anti-abortion facility in January 2018, during the tenure of former ORR Director Scott Lloyd, a longtime abortion opponent who wanted to personally sign off on every request for an abortion made by a teenager in his agency’s care. Lloyd, who was appointed by the Trump administration, was transferred to another position within the Department of Health and Human Services in November.
It is unclear whether the teen who visited the facility in January ever received the procedure. But four other teens ultimately sued the department for refusing to allow them to get abortions while in its care.
On Monday, the Campaign for Accountability filed a request for an investigation with the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general over the emails.
I hope this investigation actually goes somewhere, because the problem is serious. However, it’s not the first time we’ve heard of something like it.
We first wrote about the issue in October of 2017, when it was first made clear that Lloyd — an anti-abortion activist — was using his position to deny safe abortion care to young immigrant women. Then, we covered the topic again a couple of months later when Lloyd’s office risked the lives of two more young women.
In the Campaign for Accountability’s complaint, the pro-choice group argues that Lloyd “grossly misused his position as director of ORR to pursue his own personal and religious agenda, violating constitutional and federal law, and harming the teenage girls his agency is charged with protecting.”
The complaint alleges that Lloyd replied to an email about the teenager who wanted an abortion in January. In it, Lloyd asked that she be told that “support is readily available” if she wanted to become a parent and that “in some cases, women or minors who have had abortions have expressed regret from having done so, even when pregnancy is the result of sexual assault.”
This is typical anti-choice propaganda, fueled by religious fundamentalism, and it has no place in any modern government office.
(Screenshot via YouTube)