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ACLU Questions Limitations on Reproductive Services for Undocumented Teens

The American Civil Liberties Union requested documents from the federal government Monday on current US policy that limits teenage refugees’ access to reproductive care. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) initiated a policy earlier this year that limits reproductive health services for undocumented teenagers, including access to contraceptives and abortion. This policy was implemented following a Virginia case in which employees of Commonwealth Catholic Charities assisted an undocumented 16-year-old who procured an abortion in January of this year.

According to an ACLU press release, an injunction requesting government documents on the issue was filed in a US District Court of New York.

Brigitte Amiri, an ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project staff attorney, said: “many unaccompanied teenagers come into the U.S. fleeing abuse and torture in their home countries. Some have been sexually abused or assaulted, or forced into prostitution. As a matter of law, the U.S. cannot deny reproductive health care to these teenagers, and as a matter of compassion, the U.S. should do everything it can to ensure the health, safety and well-being of these teens that have no one else to turn to.”

Sources:

American Civil Liberties Union press release 11/17/2008, Richmond Times Dispatch 11/17/2008

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