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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

Pro-Choice Caucus Leaders Blast Trump Administration for Preventing Refugees from Accessing Legally-Allowed Reproductive Health Services

October 17, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (CO-1), co-chairs of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, today blasted the Trump administration for moving to prevent refugees in federal shelters from accessing safe and legal reproductive health services even in cases of rape and incest. The federal government is currently forcing a refugee in Texas to continue her pregnancy despite the fact that she has adhered to all state and federal laws while trying to access abortion services. 

“The law is clear. The federal government is required to provide reproductive health services, including abortion services, to refugees in federal shelters. More than 65 million people were displaced around the globe last year alone, with many women and girls escaping unconscionable circumstances in their home countries. They should not reach American soil only to find the administration ignoring the law. That is exactly what’s happening right now in Texas, where a refugee that has met all legal requirements for an abortion under state and federal law is being held against her will in a federal shelter and forced to continue with her pregnancy. That is despite the fact that no federal funds would be used to pay for the abortion she is seeking. The administration should follow the law and allow refugees access to the reproductive health care the law requires,” said Slaughter.    

“My heart goes out to this refugee, detained in Texas and trapped by the Trump administration’s increasingly draconian and cruel efforts to block reproductive rights. It is unacceptable that Trump administration officials subjected her to egregious delays in obtaining care, including requiring her to visit an anti-choice ‘crisis pregnancy center’ where she was urged to continue her pregnancy. These federal officials had no legal right to block her access to an abortion. Their unconscionable actions must be challenged on behalf of the individual in question and others who could face similar situations,” said DeGette.