Watchdog Sues Obama Admin Over Arranging Abortions for Illegals

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 28, 2012   |   4:28PM   |   Washington, DC

A watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration seeking additional information related to its arranging abortions for illegal immigrants who are detained by customs officials.

As LifeNews has reported, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the division of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, is the agency that is paying for some abortions at taxpayer expense and arranging for the abortions for the illegal immigrants.

The ICE detention operations manual also says that illegal alien detainees who are pregnant will be provided with help not just for an impending delivery but also in obtaining an abortion. Abortions will be taxpayer-funded if the life of the mother is deemed to be endangered or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, and ICE will arrange transportation to the abortionist at no cost to the detainee.

Chris Crane, President of the National ICE Council, explained that the majority of federal detainees come out of “jails and prisons where we treated them based on the charges that they were either convicted of or arrested for. The second they come to [Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE], we have to treat them with a completely different standard. We throw law enforcement and security protocol… out the window.”

Now, Judicial Watch has announced it has filed two lawsuits against the U.S. Department Homeland Security (DHS) for failure to respond to its requests for public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A statement Judicial Watch sent LifeNews provides further details:

As stated in the ICE document Performance-Based National Detention Standards 2011, “upon request, appropriately trained medical personnel within their scope of practice shall provide detainees with non-directive (impartial) advice and consultation about family planning and birth control, and where medically appropriate, prescribe and dispense birth control.” The revised standards also specify conditions under which “ICE will assume the costs associated with a female detainee’s decision to terminate a pregnancy” in the case of rape or incest.

On September 24, 2012, Judicial Watch sent a FOIA request to ICE, which is part of the DHS, seeking access to the following:

  • Any and all records pertaining to family planning or birth control services provided to detainees in ICE’s custody.
  • Any and all records pertaining to the termination of pregnancies by female persons in ICE’s custody, including records concerning transportation arranged for or provided to detainees for the purpose of receiving abortion services and any and all records regarding costs associated with such services.

In both cases, the records being sought are for Fiscal Year 2011, or from October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011. The requests specifically stated that no information was being sought about the identity of any detainee or health care provider.

 ICE has acknowledged receipt of both requests. A response regarding Judicial Watch’s request for records related to birth control services was due on November 19, 2012. To date ICE has failed to respond to either these FOIA requests, prompting Judicial Watch’s lawsuits.

“It will surprise most Americans to know that illegal alien detainees can receive birth control, sex change procedures, and abortions courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “This is an embarrassing scandal for the Obama administration, which is why the administration has violated the law in refusing our requests for information.”

Earlier this year, the House approved an amendment designed to stop the abortions from taking place — though the Democrat-controlled Senate never approved it.

Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, says his group worked with members of Congress to put the brakes on the idea.

“Congress was appalled, as we were, to learn that illegal immigrants were entitled to more extensive “health care” than law-abiding Americans,” he said. “Instead of rolling out the red carpet and subjecting them to this administration’s radical social values or risking ICE changing its policy on abortion funding, House conservatives decided to ensure that ICE legally could not fund abortion.”

FRC worked with Rep. Bill Huizenga, a Michigan Republican, to draft a bill that would apply the Hyde standard (no federal funding for abortions) to Homeland Security. When its appropriations bill rolled around, FRC worked to attach the Huizenga language to the Homeland Security spending bill for the next fiscal year.

“Thanks to Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security Chairman Robert Aderholt, an Alabama Republican, that goal became a reality. Last week, following two days of debate on the bill, the overall Homeland Security bill passed along party lines (234-182)–including the provision that blocks ICE from using agency dollars to prevent a baby from entering the world alive,” the FRC leader explained.

Perkins said: “Some Democrats, like Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) complained that the pro-life measure was not only “unnecessary” but “inflammatory.” In reality, all House leaders did was bring Homeland Security in line with the other federal appropriations provisions that prevent taxpayer dollars for abortion. And if the greatest goal of Homeland Security is protecting lives, then surely that includes the unborn ones.”