The Trump administration must help facilitate abortions for illegal immigrant minors in custody, a federal judge ruled Friday.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan issued the temporary injunction blocking a new life-affirming U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy, according to Reuters.
The 2017 policy requires that taxpayer-funded shelters for immigrants and refugees offer life-affirming support to girls who are pregnant and prohibits the shelters from facilitating abortions without approval of the office director.
Chutkan, a liberal judge appointed by pro-abortion President Barack Obama, argued the policy places an “undue burden” on illegal immigrant girls’ access to abortion.
“The administration cannot strip unaccompanied immigrant minor children of their right to make their own reproductive choices,” she wrote in the decision.
The government may appeal. In a statement Saturday to the AP, HHS said it “strongly maintains that taxpayers are not responsible for facilitating the abortion of unaccompanied minors who entered the country illegally and are currently in the government’s care,”and it is “working closely with the Justice Department to review the court’s order and determine next steps.”
Brigitte Amiri, an ACLU lawyer who represents several pregnant illegal immigrant minors, claimed the policy is “cruel” and “interfering.” The ACLU is a strongly pro-abortion group that believes women and girls should be allowed to abort their unborn babies for any reason up to birth.
Here’s more from the AP:
U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said in the ruling Friday that Lloyd and his office are “certainly entitled to maintain an interest in fetal life” and even to prefer that pregnant minors in their custody “choose one course over the other,” but the government can’t create or implement a policy that strips minors “of their right to make their own reproductive choices.”
Since last year, the American Civil Liberties Union and the government have been in an on-going legal battle over the policy. The issue arose last fall after the ACLU demanded that the Office of Refugee Resettlement help facilitate an abortion for an unaccompanied minor in Texas. “Jane Doe” aborted her 16-week unborn baby on Oct. 25, less than a day after a federal appeals court forced Trump administration officials to help facilitate the abortion.
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In November, the Trump administration said the pro-abortion legal group deceived the government about when an illegal immigrant teen’s abortion was scheduled. The government said this prevented it from appealing a court ruling that forced Lloyd’s office to help facilitate the girl’s abortion.
Then, in February, another pregnant illegal immigrant minor who possibly was entangled in the lawsuits said she no longer wanted two pro-abortion attorneys to represent her because she was choosing life for her unborn baby.
Pro-abortion groups also are demanding that HHS Secretary Alex Azar fire Scott Lloyd, who leads the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement and instituted the new life-affirming policies. Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups attacked Lloyd for saying illegal immigrant minors have “no constitutional right to abortion.”
The duties of his office including providing basic care, including health care, to unaccompanied immigrant children until they are placed with a family member or sponsor.