Immigrant teen denied abortion threatened to hurt herself


An immigrant teen who was denied an abortion by a U.S. government official, even though her pregnancy was caused by rape, had threatened to harm herself if she were forced to have the child, according to a government memo released Friday.

The memo is addressed to Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which shelters thousands of unaccompanied immigrant minors in the U.S. without legal permission. The American Civil Liberties Union posted the memo as part of its ongoing lawsuit over abortion access for immigrant minors in custody.

The document describes how the teen was raped in her home country and believed she had become pregnant as a result. According to the memo, written by the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s deputy director, she told a doctor during her first prenatal visit that she wanted an abortion. The teen “disclosed to the medical doctor that she preferred to harm herself rather than to continue with her pregnancy.”

The teen and another minor received access to abortions after a federal judge ruled in their favor last week.



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