The nightmare of young immigrants: pregnant and undocumented
A Trump administration policy prevents undocumented minors who are in shelters financed by the state - for crossing the border in an "illegal" way – to access medical services to interrupt their pregnancy.
In a measure little known by the public, the Trump administration has launched a policy of rejection to the possibility of unaccompanied minors to interrupt their pregnancies, the Washington Post reported.
This measure has affected four minors since October, who were victims of rape and violence, and who have requested permission to put an end to an unwanted pregnancy. The young women have had to face hearings in which the government has offered them support in anti-abortion centers or has ignored the legal times necessary to process the request.
The last case was reported during this week, in which a 17-year-old girl detained in a center for undocumented immigrants received a refusal from the Office of Refugee Resettlement in response to her request for assistance to end her pregnancy.
The director of the office, E. Scott Lloyd, rejected the girl's motion arguing that the government office "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 to protect life rather than to destroy it.”
These new measures contraindicate those taken by the Obama Administration, which, while covering the costs of abortions performed only in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother, did not prevent immigrants in federal custody from obtaining abortions on their own in the United States.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has decided to take action on the matter and has decided to take the case to a legal battle, ensuring that "this administration's policy affects hundreds of adolescents in custody and is an unconstitutional curb on abortion rights," the Post continues.
During the fiscal year 2017, 420 pregnant girls were registered in federal custody, according to court records.
Brigitte Amiri, ACLU senior staff attorney, told The Independent that, “What haunts me… What keeps me up at night is the thought that there are young women out there that we might never know about, who are forced to carry their pregnancies to term against their will because the government coerced them, persuaded them to do so, and they will never have a voice, they will never get to us.”
For its part, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that these young women "have the option to voluntarily depart to their home country or find a suitable sponsor.”