Judge Orders Trump Admin to Allow Illegal Immigrant Teens to Obtain Abortions

Photo Credit: Ehsan Namavar

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice are considering their options after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on Friday ordering the Trump administration to cease denying abortion access to teenagers who enter the country illegally and unaccompanied by an adult.

“The Department of Health & Human Services 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,” the department said in a statement. “We are working closely with the Justice Department to review the court’s order and determine next steps.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had first filed a lawsuit on behalf of one illegal immigrant teen last year, and then two more, and now has been granted a request to make the matter a class action lawsuit.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) under HHS requires undocumented immigrants to obtain an ultrasound, receive options counseling and submit a notarized declaration of consent from their parents before they are permitted to obtain an abortion. The ultimate decider of whether or not to grant the illegal immigrant teenager’s request for an abortion comes down to Director Scott Lloyd of the Administration for Children and Families.

“Refuge is the basis of our name and is at the core of what we provide, and we provide this to all the minors in our care, including their unborn children, every day. In this request, we are being asked to participate in killing a human being in our care. I cannot direct the program to proceed in this manner,” Lloyd, a Roman Catholic, wrote in a memo last year pertaining to a girl who had been raped.

“We cannot be a place of refuge while we are at the same time a place of violence. We have to choose, and we ought to choose protect life rather than to destroy it,” he said.

However, in her ruling on Friday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, appointed to the bench by then-President Barack Obama, concluded that the government’s policies and practices are likely unconstitutional as they override a mother’s wishes to abort her child.

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“[T]he court concludes that ORR’s policies and practices infringe on [an illegal immigrant child’s] constitutional rights by effectively prohibiting them from ‘making the ultimate decision’ on whether or not to continue their pregnancy prior to viability—a quintessential undue burden,” she wrote.

“ORR’s policy vests the power to decide the future of a UC’s pregnancy in one man: Director Lloyd. The policy provides no mechanism to ensure compliance with established constitutional dictates, or to afford [an illegal immigrant child] the opportunity to bypass the director and effectuate her constitutional rights,” Chutkan said.

“Apart from his personal opinion that abortion is not in any pregnant UC’s ‘best interest,’ the ORR policy does not require Director Lloyd to provide any justification or legal authority to unilaterally deny UCs their right to make their own reproductive choices.”

She therefore granted the ACLU’s request for a class-wide preliminary injunction, stating that while HHS and ORR may hold to an interest in protecting unborn life and may urge undocumented teens not to kill their babies, they “may not create or implement any policy that strips UCs of their right to make their own reproductive choices.”

Read the ruling in full here.

As previously reported, from its early years, Christians have decried abortion in America as being the savage murder of innocent children. Even in 1872, preacher Thomas De Witt Talmage wrote in his book “The Abominations of Modern Society”:

“Herod’s massacre of the innocents was as nothing compared to that of millions and millions by what I shall call ante-natal murders. You may escape the grip of the law, because the existence of such life was not known by society, but I tell you that at last God will shove down on you the avalanche of His indignation, and though you may not have wielded knife or pistol in your deeds of darkness, yet, in the day when John Wilkes Booth and Antony Probst come to judgment, you will have on your brow the brand of murderer.”

Ecclesiastes 11:5 also reads, “As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child, even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.”

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