Vitals Reporting on the pro-life movement

The immigrant abortion push

Abortion | New report shows the Obama administration worked hard to end the pregnancies of unaccompanied minors
by Samantha Gobba
Posted 11/05/18, 02:34 pm

Federal officials under the Obama administration went out of their way to help pregnant unaccompanied immigrant minors get abortions, even transporting the girls across state lines, a court document and emails revealed recently.

A ruling last month by U.S. District Judge Laurel Beeler disclosed an instance in which “Maria,” a teen in federal custody who became pregnant as a result of rape, requested an abortion. She was in a state that required parental consent, and the location of her parents was known, but she did not want authorities to notify them that she was pregnant. Emails cited in the ruling showed that Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) field specialists discussed sending her to New Mexico.

“This is why termination of pregnancies are done in New Mexico due to the fact that currently (by law) there is no parental consent requirement,” one ORR staff member wrote.

Beeler’s ruling decided the separate matter of whether the federal government violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by contracting with the Catholic Bishops Conference to shelter so-called unaccompanied alien children (UAC). The judge wrote that the Bishops Conference had never imposed its religion on girls or prevented them from obtaining abortions since it was willing to transfer them to a pro-abortion facility.

Additional emails filed in court and reviewed by The Federalist revealed that workers transported pregnant girls across state lines not only to skirt parental consent laws but also to avoid laws limiting abortions based on the gestational ages of the unborn babies.

In one case, a federal field specialist requested the transfer of a pregnant girl to New York or Virginia because she was 17 to 18 weeks along, and Texas has a 20-week abortion ban. The specialist wrote, “Going forward with an abortion in Texas does not seem feasible due to the advanced pregnant state of the UAC.”

Another email showed an official saying a shelter in Chicago “has a ‘history’ of working well with Planned Parenthood in Illinois and of supporting our teens through this difficult process.”

Travis Weber, an attorney with the Family Research Council, told me the court documents showed federal officials “were in lock-step with the ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] on abortion.” He added, “These are government representatives. They are employees, the people charged with doing the will of the American people as reflected in the administration, and here you have these government employees who are striving to obtain abortions” in an aggressive manner.

The Trump administration adopted a policy that did not require shelters to provide abortions to unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors or even transfer them to a facility that would. The ACLU filed suit last year against the policy on behalf of anonymous teens under the pseudonyms Janes Doe, Roe, Moe, and Poe.

During court proceedings, ACLU lawyers took Jane Doe to get her abortion early in the morning after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in the girl’s favor. But the government had planned to appeal, and lawyers for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called actions by the ACLU lawyers deliberately deceptive. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously vacated the appellate court’s ruling and reprimanded the ACLU lawyers for their actions.

“Government officials, the ACLU, they both are linked by this mentality of you must get abortions at all cost,” Weber said. “It’s just ridiculous when you look at the backdrop of the law. The Supreme Court has pronounced multiple times allowing the government to have pro-life policies, which the Trump administration has relied on to set the policy it has now at HHS.”

It’s not clear that officials technically broke state laws by bypassing them. What is clear is the fervency of abortion advocates in promoting access to abortion above all else, including parental consent.

Alliance Defending Freedom Alliance Defending Freedom Heidi Matzke (right), executive director of Alternatives Pregnancy Center in Sacramento, Calif., speaks with a woman.

Judge cements free speech for pregnancy centers

Months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of California pregnancy centers that had filed suit against a California law requiring them to promote abortion, a federal judge finished off the yearslong legal battle.

Last month, U.S. District Judge John Houston officially blocked the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act, or FACT Act, which had required pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs telling women that the state provides free or low-cost abortions, along with the phone number of a county office that would refer pregnant women to an abortion provider.

Michael Farris, president of Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates in the lawsuit, applauded the ruling.

“The government has no business forcing anyone to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion,” Farris said. “The outcome of this case affirms the freedom that all Americans have to speak—or not to speak—in accordance with their conscience.”

Houston wrote in his order that the plaintiffs may file a motion to recover their legal fees from arguing their case. —S.G.

Facebook Facebook Kahala Nui retirement center

ACLU to retirement home: Kill your residents

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii sent a demand letter last week to a Catholic-owned retirement home in Honolulu, telling it to allow non-Catholic residents to commit assisted suicide under a new state law. Kahala Nui had informed its residents it would not allow them to take advantage of a law that allows assisted suicide.

Wendy Wong, the home’s director, said in a statement that “in no uncertain terms, Kahala Nui does not discriminate and has never denied residency based on religion, race, sex, color, or any other basis.” She said Kahala Nui is reviewing the ACLU letter with an attorney. —S.G.

Two tales of promoting death

Australian Graham Morant was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week for telling his wife to commit suicide in 2014. A jury found that his wife, Jennifer Morant, would not have committed suicide without his encouragement. She had chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, but wasn’t terminally ill. Queensland Judge Peter Davis said Morant wanted access to his wife’s $1 million life insurance policy. “You took advantage of her vulnerability as a sick and depressed woman,” Davis said Friday.

Stateside, troubling news has surfaced that California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who could be the state’s next governor, helped his sick mother commit suicide in 2002. Even more troubling is that assisted suicide wasn’t legal in California until 2015. —S.G.

Samantha Gobba

Samantha reports on the pro-life movement for WORLD Digital.

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Comments

  • Bob C
    Posted: Tue, 11/06/2018 11:02 am

    Two tales of promoting death - Suicide is a self-centered act impinging on God’s rights over life and death. When we humans impinge on God’s rights like this, the result is more self-centered acts that devalue all life.  If is it wrong to murder other people then it is wrong to murder yourself, or to assist someone murder themselves.   I am not going to deny that there are some extremely difficult situations where suicide might be justified, but to legalize it is going to result in hundreds of murders that have nothing to do with person who gets killed, for every possible case where it might be justified.  Human nature is way too depraved to handle legalize suicide.     

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