Trump Administration Continues to Attempt to Force Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors to Carry Pregnancies to Term Against Their Will

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union was in court today to prevent the Trump administration from blocking two more young immigrant women in federal custody from obtaining an abortion.

As in the recent “Jane Doe” case, these young women, known to the court as Jane Roe and Jane Poe, requested an abortion, but the Office of Refugee Resettlement has refused to allow them to get one.

“We’ve already stopped the Trump administration from blocking one young woman’s abortion,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “But the Trump administration is relentless in its cruelty, blocking abortion access for the most marginalized people in our country. It’s unreal that the federal government is trying to force more young women to continue their pregnancies against their will."

The government’s treatment of these young women is part of a new policy by the Trump administration to block access to abortion care for young immigrants in detention. The ACLU’s lawsuit challenging the policy, Garza v. Hargan, has already documented egregious harms against other young women in ORR detention, including:

  • Requiring pregnant teens to go to a religiously affiliated, anti-abortion “Crisis Pregnancy Center” for counseling that urges them to continue their pregnancy
  • Requiring a pregnant teen to have a medically unnecessary sonogram against her will
  • Blocking pregnant teens from travelling to medical visits.

The director of ORR, Scott Lloyd, has personally contacted young women to convince them to carry their pregnancies to term instead of having an abortion. ORR directs shelters not to allow minors to seek judicial bypass of a state’s parental consent law for abortion, or allow them to meet with attorneys, without explicit approval Lloyd. In one case, a young woman was forcibly sent to an emergency room after she’d taken the abortion pill to try to prevent her from completing the abortion.