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United States : Senator Murray Demands Trump Administration Stop Blocking Undocumented Minors Access to Reproductive Health Care & Legal Counsel.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate health committee, called on Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Acting Secretary Eric D. Hargan to immediately cease all undue and improper interference in the health care decisions of young women in the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) Program. According to recent press reports, federal officials within the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), under the Trump Administrations HHS Department, have repeatedly tried to intervene to prevent young women in their custody from making their own reproductive health care decisions.

A young woman in Texas, Jane Doe, currently in the physical custody of ORR, was prevented from obtaining an abortion, despite having obtained a judicial waiver as required by state law, and despite securing her own funding and transportation for the care. A federal judge entered a Temporary Restraining Order on October 18, requiring that ORR ensure promptly and without delay the young womans access to transportation to obtain an abortion. The Trump Administration has appealed that decision and a hearing is scheduled for today.

We write to ask you to immediately cease all undue and improper interference in the health care decisions of young women who have been identified as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) or who are otherwise undocumented and in the physical custody of the federal government. These young women often face unimaginable trauma and danger in coming to this country and fleeing violent situations in their home countries, wrote Senator Murray. Rather than personally interfering with health care decisions, ORR facilities and staff should be facilitating access to health care for those in the governments custody, including any UAC that has experienced sexual assaultForcing a young woman, especially one who has been sexually assaulted, to continue a pregnancy against her will exacerbates the trauma she has already experienced.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 23, 2017
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