Pregnant Unaccompanied Immigrant Youngsters In US Custody Being Moved Throughout State Traces To Entry Abortion Companies

ORR is working on an updated policy, and advocates have heard that the agency was already transferring minors to other states if they need access to abortion services, Amiri said. But nothing official has been released.

Some miscarriage treatment is still legal, but it has still resulted in confusion and a chilling effect among providers fearing they’re breaking the law, Amiri also noted. In some cases, even if a miscarriage is inevitable, but there is still embryonic or fetal cardiac activity, doctors cannot see the procedure through unless the situation fits within the ban’s limited exceptions, such as to save the patient’s life, Amiri said.

The Texas guidance from October was the result of a settlement agreement with the ACLU, which filed a lawsuit on behalf of a group of unaccompanied minors, including one who prevented the Trump administration from accessing abortion while in ORR custody. Under the settlement, ORR must provide unaccompanied immigrant minors in its care access to abortion. Ideally, Amiri said, ORR wouldn’t even place a pregnant unaccompanied minor in a state like Texas, but that goes beyond the terms of the settlement, which only guarantees access to abortion.

The settlement in the case was based on the constitutional right to abortion, which no longer exists after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Amiri said. Access could still be complicated if the unaccompanied immigrant minors are in a state where abortion is legal, Amiri said, because a conservative administration could reverse the current ORR policy and place all of the children in a state like Texas.

“It’s yet another layer of how tenuous abortion access is for a very vulnerable population,” Amiri said. “I have no doubt that if an anti-abortion president is elected in 2024 that he will remove the protections for access to abortion that currently exist for minors in ORR custody.”

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