Biden administration to provide abortion access to pregnant migrant youths
The guidance states that minors who are pregnant in states that ban abortion but request abortion services should be transferred to states where the procedure is legal
November 11, 2022 5:48pm
Updated: November 11, 2022 6:10pm
The Biden administration issued a directive on Thursday ordering that pregnant migrant minors should be sheltered in states that allow abortions.
The guidance by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) also said that minors who are pregnant in states that ban abortion but request abortion services should be transferred to states where the procedure is legal.
"This Field Guidance confirms that ORR staff and care providers must not prevent [unaccompanied children] from accessing legal abortion-related services and that ORR staff and care providers must make all reasonable efforts to facilitate access to these services if requested by the [unaccompanied child]," the guidance said.
However, pregnant unaccompanied minors can also voluntarily choose to stay in states that ban abortions. However, the directive specifies that they must be informed of the abortion restrictions they would face.
According to ORR, the agency responsible for sheltering unaccompanied minors that cross the U.S.-Mexico border, about one-third of the 123,000 unaccompanied migrant children who were taken into federal custody in the Fiscal Year 2021 were female. The agency’s data, however, does not specify how many of them were pregnant.
The directive issued on Thursday comes after the ORR issued a memo last year saying that pregnant unaccompanied minors should not be sheltered in Texas after the state approved a ban on abortions.
A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson told CBS that the administration is focusing on “supporting access to essential health care, including reproductive health care, for all populations we serve.”