Trump Administration:  Abortion for Raped Illegal Immigrant Teen-Ager Would Be ‘Further Violence’

Printed from:

Federal officials believe a rapist impregnated a teen-age illegal alien in her home country, but Trump Administration officials won’t let her have an abortion because they argue “further violence” won’t solve the problem.

The girl, whose name and age are being withheld by federal officials, was about 22 weeks pregnant as of earlier this month. That would require an abortionist to dismember the fetus in the girl’s womb.

Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, says in a letter unsealed Thursday that it is “understandable” why a woman might want to abort a child conceived in rape and that he would not judge a woman who does so.

“But I cannot authorize our program to participate in the abortion requested here, even in this most difficult case. Here, where the pregnancy has advanced to such a stage, we have in stark relief … violence that has the ultimate destruction of another human being as its goal,” Lloyd wrote in the letter, dated December 6.

Lloyd described some of the gruesome details of a late-second-trimester abortion, noting that the procedure is “one that even many abortionists find troublesome.”

But the logic of his argument goes against allowing abortion in any case of rape, no matter how far along a pregnancy is.

“I am mindful that abortion is offered by some as a solution to rape,” Lloyd wrote. “In fact, some would suggest that, by declining to assist in the abortion we are in some ways engaging in a form of violence against the mother, as in the notion that [the Office of Refugee Resettlement] is forcing her to carry her pregnancy to term.

“I disagree. Implicit here are the dubious notions that it is possible to cure violence with further violence, and that the destruction of an unborn child’s life can in some instances be acceptable as a means to an end. To decline to assist in an abortion here is to decline to participate in violence against an innocent life. She remains pregnant, but that is not the intent of our actions. Moral and criminal responsibility lies with the attacker, and no one else.”

The Trump administration is in federal court arguing that it has no constitutional or statutory duty to provide abortions for two 17-year-old girls in the government’s custody, according to The Hill. One of them is likely the case Lloyd describes in his letter.

The American Civil Liberties Union is pressing a federal judge to order the government to facilitate an abortion for the other teen-ager.

In a written statement, the ACLU says Lloyd’s letter “exposes the Trump Administration’s extreme anti-abortion ideology:  they oppose abortion no matter the circumstances.”

“The administration must stop forcing its ideological agenda, driven by personal religious views, on young people in its charge,” the ACLU statement continues.

In October, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkin, an Obama appointee, ordered the Trump administration to allow a quick abortion for a pregnant 17-year-old in federal custody, which she got. The same judge has ruled similarly in these new cases. But in the administration is seeking intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of the teen-ager whose pregnancy is in the second trimester.