By Carter Sherman
VICE News (12/17/18)
Officials working for the Trump administration took a 16-year-old immigrant who wanted an abortion to a religiously affiliated anti-abortion facility for counseling about her pregnancy. There, she was provided with “appropriate drawings to color and with Bible verses,” according to a government email reviewed by VICE News.
The teen had become pregnant after being raped by a group of men in her home country, according to the email, which was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the government watchdog group the Campaign for Accountability. After arriving in the United States, the teenager entered the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which oversees the care of underage migrants who enter the country without authorization and without their parents.
The teen was taken to the anti-abortion facility in January 2018, during the tenure of former ORR Director Scott Lloyd, a longtime abortion opponent who wanted to personally sign off on every request for an abortion made by a teenager in his agency’s care. Lloyd, who was appointed by the Trump administration, was transferred to another position within the Department of Health and Human Services in November.
It is unclear whether the teen who visited the facility in January ever received the procedure. But four other teens ultimately sued the department for refusing to allow them to get abortions while in its care.
On Monday, the Campaign for Accountability filed a request for an investigation with the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general over the emails.
“It appears Mr. Lloyd grossly misused his position as director of ORR to pursue his own personal and religious agenda, violating constitutional and federal law, and harming the teenage girls his agency is charged with protecting,” the Campaign, which supports abortion rights, wrote in its complaint. …