We still don’t know where 1,488 migrant children are. The U.S. government lost them. They admit as much. Even though the court ordered a halt to the policy of family separation, 245 more children have been taken from their parents. So they can’t figure out where children separated from their parents are, but by God, they can keep track of teenage migrant girls’ menstrual cycles.
There are 28 pages detailing the periods, pregnancies and reason for the pregnancy (whether by rape or not) of teen girls in custody, some of whom are as young as 12. There may well be reasons for the government to track whether or not a woman is pregnant, and how far along in her pregnancy she is, but there’s no reason to track the cause of her pregnancy. It’s pretty fair to assume that they’re not doing this because they want to ensure women know all the options regarding their pregnancy. It’s almost certainly an attempt to bar them from getting abortions.
We know that, because the tracking was done by the anti-abortion advocate Scott Lloyd, the head of refugee resettlement at the height of the children separation (he has since been removed from that post). Lloyd declared he needed to sign off on all abortion requests (this was previously not the case) and in one instance, attempted to use a migrant girl as a way to test an “abortion reversal” method.
Lloyd has admitted to pressuring these young women to keep their pregnancies. Seemingly, he was quite strenuous in his insistence. In one email, Lloyd relates that a pregnant woman in his care who was seeking—and being kept from having—an abortion mentioned suicide. In response to that, he writes: “The clinician describes her demeanor as ‘obnoxious’ and that ‘the unborn child is in our care so the medical team should continue with standard prenatal care.’” If she continued to want an abortion after “spiritual counseling,” Lloyd continues, she’d have to obtain parental consent. Because deciding to terminate a pregnancy seemingly takes more maturity than motherhood. And, if you think they did not take into account how difficult it might be for teenage migrants to obtain consent from parents they might not be traveling with—oh, don’t worry. They took that into account.
This tracking continued well after the ACLU intervened to stop government interference with immigrant women seeking abortions […]