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Office of Refugee Resettlement requires director's approval of abortions for unaccompanied children in detention shelters

  1. Date Announced

    March 4, 2017

    The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) issues a memo prohibiting federally funded detention shelters from taking "any action that facilitates" abortion for unaccompanied children without written approval from the director of ORR.

    [ID #255]

    View Policy Document
  2. Effective Date of Change

    March 4, 2017
  3. Subsequent Action

    March 30, 2018

    In Garza v. Hargan, the DC District Court issued an order enjoining ORR from interfering with or obstructing any class member’s access to: (1) a judicial bypass, (2) medical appointments related to pregnancy dating, (3) non-directive options counseling, (4) abortion counseling, (5) an abortion, or (6) other pregnancy-related care.

    Garza v. Hargan Order
  4. Subsequent Action

    June 4, 2018

    The Supreme Court vacated the DC Circuit Court order and remanded the case with instructions to direct the District Court to dismiss the relevant individual claim for injunctive relief as moot.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    Supreme Court Vacates Garza v. Hargan
  5. Subsequent Action

    September 29, 2020

    ORR issues a new policy memo on September 29, 2020 that prohibits obstruction or interference with access to abortion for unaccompanied minors who request an abortion or abortion counseling. Following this action, the parties in J.D. v. Azar (originally Garza v. Hargan), Case. No. 1:17-cv-02122 (D.D.C.) filed a joint stipulation for dismissal without prejudice.

    Policy Memorandum: Medical Services Requiring Heightened ORR Involvement (UAC PM 20-1)(09/29/20)
Type of Action: Agency Directive
Subject Matter: Detention Minors
Agencies Affected: ORR

Prior Policies

  • When a grantee learns that a UAC has been advised by a doctor to undergo or wishes to seek medcial services requiring heightened ORR involvement (i.e., significant surgical or medical proceudres, abortions, and services that may threaten the life of the UAC), the grantee must follow the procedures for Significant Incident Documentation and Reporting at section 1.03 and for Medical Services at section 3.04 In additional, the grantee must immediately call the DUCS Director and proivde all available details about the situtation.

    March 21, 2008 memorandum, "Medical Services Requiring Heightened ORR Involvement"

Subsequent Actions


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