Last week, I learned about Jane Doe’s court case and how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been refusing critical healthcare to a series of unaccompanied immigrant children (UACs). Specifically, it became clear that there is a dangerous trend of reported cases in which HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) prevented access to constitutionally protected reproductive healthcare. This includes blocking access to an abortion in cases where the individual has requested the service.
In Jane Doe’s case, the 17-year-old UAC in Texas acquired a judicial bypass to waive parental consent, and ORR still refused to allow her to be transported to the health center. Instead, they actually forced her to visit an anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center where she received counseling directed to dissuade her from having an abortion. It has been reported that ORR Director Scott Lloyd even personally urged girls not to have the procedure.
Politics aside, this is the Trump administration unlawfully and shamefully forcing a 17-year-old to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term against her will. I have serious concerns with this. We all should. That’s why Ranking Member of the Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Representative Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) and I sent a letter to Acting Secretary Eric Hargan demanding answers from HHS.
You can read our letter below: