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US Under Trump, an Office Meant to Help Refugees Enters the Abortion Wars

02:41  06 april  2018
02:41  06 april  2018 Source:   nytimes.com

Kentucky House passes bill restricting abortions

  Kentucky House passes bill restricting abortions The Kentucky House of Representatives passed legislation on Tuesday to ban a common abortion procedure from the 11th week of pregnancy, in what would be one of the strictest abortion limits in the United States. The bill, which was approved by the state Senate last week, will now go for approval to Governor Matt Bevin, a Republican who has described himself as "100 percent pro-life."Officials at Bevin's office could not immediately be reached for comment.The House voted 75-13 in favor of the measure. It previously passed a similar version of the measure but had to approve changes the Senate made.

As director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, he oversees the assistance program for the tens of thousands of refugees who still seek shelter in the United States, even with the Trump administration’s crackdown. But as the government official who is also responsible for the care of young

The Office of Refugee Resettlement has become a flash point in the debate over the administration’s embrace of socially conservative policy. The office ’s director spends much of his time

a group of people posing for a photo: Activists protesting Mr. Lloyd’s anti-abortion efforts before the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill in October. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Activists protesting Mr. Lloyd’s anti-abortion efforts before the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill in October.

WASHINGTON — Scott Lloyd’s unadorned job title betrays little hint of the power he has over the pregnant teenagers in his custody.

As director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, he oversees the assistance program for the tens of thousands of refugees who still seek shelter in the United States, even with the Trump administration’s crackdown. But as the government official who is also responsible for the care of young, undocumented refugees, he spends much of his time trying to stop those who want an abortion.

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© Drew Angerer/Getty Images Activists protesting Mr. Lloyd’s anti- abortion efforts before the start of a hearing on Capitol Hill in October. By JEREMY W. PETERS, The New York Times WASHINGTON. Scott Lloyd’s unadorned job title betrays little hint of the power he has over the pregnant teenagers in

Under questioning from an A.C.L.U. lawyer during a deposition, he said he did not know of any set of circumstances that would cause him to grant an abortion Anti- abortion groups have welcomed his defiance as a hopeful sign. And they echo what H.H.S. officials have said themselves: A new culture

He has instructed his staff to give him a spreadsheet each week that tells him about any unaccompanied minors who have asked for one and how far along they are in their pregnancy. In at least one case he directed staff to read to one girl a description of what happens during an abortion. And when there’s a need for counseling, Mr. Lloyd’s office calls on someone from its list of preferred “life affirming” pregnancy resource centers.

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Last fall Mr. Lloyd’s refusal to let a 17-year-old in Texas leave the shelter where she was living to get an abortion drew an admonishment from a federal judge who said she was “astounded” the government had been so insistent on keeping someone from obtaining a constitutionally protected procedure. Last week another judge barred him from trying to prevent any girl in his care from getting an abortion, but government lawyers have asked for a stay and plan to appeal.

Federal judge blocks Trump administration officials from stopping immigrant teens from getting abortions

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Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, has tried to stop the young, undocumented refugees he oversees from having abortions .

Under Trump , an Office Meant to Help Refugees Enters the Abortion Wars . One small government office has become the flash point in the debate over the administration’s embrace of socially conservative policy.

How Mr. Lloyd, an appointee of President Trump, turned a small office in the Department of Health and Human Services that provides social services to refugees into a battleground over abortion rights is part of the larger story of the Trump administration’s push to enact rules that favor socially conservative positions on issues like abortion, contraception and gay, lesbian and transgender rights.

Unlike some traditional Republicans, many religious conservatives eagerly sought jobs in the administration and the chance to shape policy after eight years of a Democratic president. This was especially true at H.H.S., where the senior ranks are staffed with former activists who have built careers advancing socially conservative causes.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, has tried to stop the young, undocumented refugees he oversees from having abortions. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, has tried to stop the young, undocumented refugees he oversees from having abortions.

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The ORR refused to allow Jane to leave the shelter to have her abortion .[4]:1813 In March 2017, new ORR Director Scott Lloyd had forbid federally funded shelters from taking "any action that facilitates" an abortion without " Under Trump , an Office Meant to Help Refugees Enters the Abortion Wars ".

The New York Times: Under Trump , An Office Meant To Help Refugees Enters The Abortion Wars Scott Lloyd’s unadorned job title betrays little hint As director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, he oversees the assistance program for the tens of thousands of refugees who still seek shelter in the

Some of those hires at H.H.S. include a deputy general counsel who was a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a well-funded conservative legal group that opposes gay rights and abortion and fought the Obama administration’s contraception coverage requirements; the chief of staff to the assistant secretary for health, who used to lead an abstinence advocacy group; and the head of the department’s Office for Civil Rights, whose work at the Heritage Foundation involved promoting religious freedom initiatives.

After a relatively slow start as key personnel were put in place, the department has been responsible for a flurry of new policies. It has told states that they no longer have to follow Obama-era rules that made it difficult to withhold Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood. It has announced the creation of an entity inside its Office for Civil Rights called the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, which will respond to alleged violations of conscience and religious protections. And its new strategic plan commits the department to “protecting Americans at every stage of life, from conception.”

Kansas reports 30-year low for abortions

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THE ADMINISTRATION -- “ Under Trump , an Office Meant to Help Refugees Enters the Abortion Wars ,” by NYT’s Jeremy W. Peters: “Scott Lloyd’s unadorned job title betrays little hint of the power he has over the pregnant teenagers in his custody. As director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement

Under Trump , an Office Meant to Help Refugees Enters the Abortion Wars . The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2018. Trump : Adoption means ‘no child in America, born or unborn, is unwanted’. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved November 3, 2018.

The result, activists on both sides of the fight say, is that no White House has been as aggressive in shaping policy in a way that hews so closely to the priorities of the religious right.

“Times are changing,” said Roger Severino, the head of the Office for Civil Rights, as he announced the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division this year. “And we are institutionalizing a change in the culture of government, beginning with H.H.S.”

Unlike previous Republican administrations, when it was Congress or the Supreme Court that initiated the biggest changes to abortion law, many of the most significant developments today are occurring at the agency level, largely out of public view. And that troubles liberal advocates like the American Civil Liberties Union, which has sued Mr. Lloyd and won several times.

“There’s much more action at the federal level under Trump than there has been with other administrations,” said Jennifer Dalven, the director of the A.C.L.U.’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

And when that action occurs mostly under the radar, she added, “you don’t provoke the same level of outrage from the public. It’s quiet. People don’t see it. And unlike if you were to overturn Roe v. Wade, you don’t have people marching in the streets.”

Since the week he took office, Mr. Trump has issued several orders that have thrown up roadblocks to access to abortion and reproductive health care.

Clinic widens challenge of Mississippi abortion restrictions

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Under Trump , an Office Meant to Help Refugees Enters the Abortion Wars . The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2018. The Trump official who tried to stop a detained immigrant from getting an abortion . The Washington Post.

Image caption US President Donald Trump signing the abortion -related order in the Oval Office . The policy requires non-governmental organisations receiving federal funding to agree to "neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations".

Just three days after his inauguration, he reinstated a policy first implemented by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 that prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations from performing or discussing abortions as a family planning option if they want to receive American funding.

While this decision was something Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush also implemented, the Trump administration went further and expanded its order to say that if these nongovernmental organizations did offer or suggest abortion as an option, they would be ineligible not just for family planning assistance but for funding for a host of other unrelated health concerns — like HIV awareness, malaria and nutrition. That put billions of dollars of American aid in jeopardy.

“Trump being Trump, he didn’t just reinstate,” said Ilyse Hogue, the president of Naral Pro-Choice America. “He applied it to a much larger pot of money.”

But the administration’s most sweeping changes yet could come with proposed rulesit announced in January. The proposals would expand protections for doctors, nurses and possibly a much wider pool of workers more loosely connected to health services who say that assisting with procedures like abortion and gender reassignment surgery would violate their religious beliefs. The administration is reviewing more than 55,000 comments on the proposals and could issue final rules later this year.

Critics say the language is so broad it could apply to virtually anyone, no matter how tangentially connected to the health care procedure or service they consider immoral.

Mississippi's last abortion clinic expands lawsuit on restrictions

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The Trump administration has pressed repeatedly to impose abortion limits. Upon taking office , Mr. Trump signed a presidential memorandum reinstituting and expanding the so-called global gag rule, which bars federal funding for organizations around the world that provide abortion counseling or

The Trump administration announced on Friday that it will bar organizations that provide abortion referrals from receiving federal family planning money, a step that could strip millions of dollars from Planned Parenthood and direct it toward religiously-based, anti- abortion groups.

“If you are the contractor who empties the waste baskets at a health plan and that health plan covers abortion, you can refuse without being fired,” said Clare Coleman, the president of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association.

Like his colleagues in other parts of H.H.S., Mr. Lloyd, who declined requests for comment, has a history in the anti-abortion movement. Before he joined the Trump administration, he worked as a policy coordinator for the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic fraternal order, and served on the board of a crisis pregnancy center in Virginia. On the résumé and cover letter he submitted to the department, he listed his work experience as the “architect” of a late-term abortion ban that is now law in six states.

While anti-abortion work has been his passion, Mr. Lloyd’s job as director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement entails broad responsibilities for helping people of all ages who are trying to resettle in the United States with financial, medical and other assistance. That undocumented minors have been caught up in his personal quest to fight abortion is something of a bureaucratic quirk. Minors are under the care of his office; the placement of adult refugees is overseen by the Department of Homeland Security.

The Administration for Children and Families at H.H.S., which oversees the Office of Refugee Resettlement, said in a statement that as the legal guardian for the minors, Mr. Lloyd’s office is required by law to act with the girls’ interests in mind. And the Trump administration has determined, the statement added, that “the best interests of illegal immigrant children in our care include the protection of mothers and their babies in our facilities, and we will defend human dignity for all in our care.”

Mr. Lloyd has taken the position that as unauthorized immigrants, the girls are not entitled to the same constitutional protections as citizens. Under questioning from an A.C.L.U. lawyer during a deposition, he said he did not know of any set of circumstances that would cause him to grant an abortion request, though he said that if a girl’s life were in danger that could “potentially” sway him. He has denied at least one request for an abortion from a girl who said she had been raped.

Anti-abortion groups have welcomed his defiance as a hopeful sign. And they echo what H.H.S. officials have said themselves: A new culture is taking hold inside the Trump administration.

“If you think this is just an appendectomy, you rush that person to the hospital,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List. “But if you think that an abortion is actually taking another person’s life, you pause, you think, you consider and figure out other options. And I think that’s where the Trump administration is coming from.”

ACLU sues to block new Kentucky law restricting abortions .
A day after the governor signed the bill, a civil rights group on Wednesday sued to block a Kentucky law that restricts abortion access in the state. The American Civil Liberties Union, on behalf the state's lone abortion provider, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Louisville seeking to stop enforcement of House Bill 454, which bans a common abortion procedure from the 11th week of pregnancy onward.The law, which bans the procedure known as dilation and evacuation for women in their second trimester except in cases of emergency, took effect late Tuesday after Republican Governor Matt Bevin signed the bill.

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