EPPC Scholar Meets with Federal Officials to Discuss Concerns on HHS Rule to Facilitate Abortions and Medical Gender Transitions for Unaccompanied Children

Published April 1, 2024


On Monday, April 1, 2024, EPPC scholar Rachel N. Morrison met with government officials in the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to comment on the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) unaccompanied children program rule, which is expected to be finalized soon. 

The rule relates “to the key aspects of the placement, care, and services provided to unaccompanied children” by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), and Morrison’s comments focused on two aspects of the rule: (1) certain considerations required for making placements; and (2) the facilitation of “medical services requiring heightened ORR involvement” for unaccompanied children, which ACF says include abortion and which likely also include medical “gender transitions.”

Morrison asked ACF to clarify several placement considerations, whether ORR will facilitate medical gender transitions, and whether ORR will facilitate abortions and gender transitions unlawful under state law. She pointed out the harms associated with abortion and gender transitions, and the negative impact they will have on family well-being. Finally, she urged ACF to provide meaningful religious freedom and conscience protections for ORR Staff who cannot facilitate abortions or gender transitions.

A written version of her comments, submitted to EOP’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, is available here (PDF). 

Rachel N. Morrison is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she directs EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project. An attorney, her legal and policy work focuses on religious liberty, health care rights of conscience, the right to life, nondiscrimination, and civil rights.

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