Federal Government Required to Arrange Abortions for Minor Illegal Immigrants

Oct 1, 2020

Federal Government Required to Arrange Abortions for Minor Illegal Immigrants

After a three-year legal battle, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday it would permit pregnant undocumented minors in federal custody to have access to abortions. The new policy makes clear that the Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”), the branch of the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees undocumented minors and those seeking asylum in the US, must allow teenagers in its custody to obtain abortions.
The fight came to a close after the Trump administration announced it would no longer require the ORR to notify the guardian of a teen in the department’s custody that the teen was seeking an abortion.
The American Civil Liberties Union first sued the Trump administration in 2017 when his ORR refused to grant minors access to the abortion altogether. Though the administration surrendered on that issue last year, it continued to push for parental consent requirements until Tuesday. Following the newly issued ORR rules, the ACLU alerted the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., that it was dropping its case. 
“We’ve dismissed our case against ORR, but we’ll keep monitoring the situation to ensure this policy is properly applied,” the group tweeted. “While this change rights one of the wrongs committed against immigrants in detention, there’s still a fight ahead to defend reproductive freedom for all.”

The ORR, however, will still be required to comply with any state laws that mandate parental consent for an abortion.

News Sources:

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

As a Result of ACLU Litigation, Trump Administration Ends Policy Prohibiting Immigrant Minors From Accessing Abortion

Policy Memorandum 
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