ACLU Wins Battle to Force Federal Government to Arrange Abortions for Illegal Immigrants

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 29, 2020   |   7:18PM   |   Washington, DC

Abortion activists have prevailed in their bid to force the federal government to arrange abortions for illegal immigrants, thanks to liberal courts that sided against the trump administration’s pro-life policies.

Today, after courts ruled the Trump administration must help pregnant illegal immigrants get abortions and overturned a pro-life policy preventing the facilitation of abortions, the administration reluctantly changed its policy to allow such abortions.

In 2017, the Office of Refugee Resettlement issued a new policy requiring that taxpayer-funded shelters for immigrants and refugees offer life-affirming support to women and girls who are pregnant. The duties of the office including providing basic care, including health care, to unaccompanied immigrant children until they are placed with a family member or sponsor.

Director Scott Lloyd, a Trump appointee, said the shelters may not take “any action that facilitates” an abortion for unaccompanied minors without his direct approval.

“Grantees should not be supporting abortion services … only pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling,” Lloyd said.

But attorneys general in 19 states urged a federal court to force the Trump administration to help facilitate abortions for illegal immigrant minors. They argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that all women on U.S. soil have a “constitutionally-protected right” to abortion.

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The ACLU and abortion activists filed their own lawsuit as well and ultimately prevailed in court.

“To be sure, the ‘right to an abortion’ is viewed to have a ‘controversial nature,’ as to which people ‘sincerely hold directly opposing views,’” the judges said in their ruling, quoting from Supreme Court decisions. “But the Supreme Court ‘has determined and then redetermined that the Constitution offers basic protection to the woman’s right to choose.’ And we are not free to dilute a constitutional right recognized by controlling Supreme Court precedent—a right the government affirmatively assumes unaccompanied minors here have—so that others will be dissuaded from seeking a better life in this country.”

The court was divided in the opinion two to three: Judge Sri Srinivasan and Robert Wilkins, both Obama appointees ruled against the Trump administration. Senior Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman, a Reagan appointee, filed a dissenting opinion.

Silberman, reflecting on the merits of the case, embraced what he called a “persuasive prior opinion” written by then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, while he was still on the D.C. Circuit.

In the D.C. Circuit, Kavanaugh lauded the government’s “permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.”

“I am afraid the majority’s refusal to consider narrowing the scope of the district court’s order justifies Judge Kavanaugh’s accusation that the court is endorsing abortion on demand—at least as far as the federal Government is concerned,” Siberman said Friday.

The lawsuits are part of the ACLU’s larger agenda to force the government to help facilitate illegal immigrant minors’ abortions with taxpayer dollars.