Liberal groups call for resignation of HHS official Scott Lloyd after abortion denials

Scott Lloyd, director of the HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement, is under fire from Democrats and liberal advocacy groups for denying abortions to unaccompanied immigrant minors, according to The Hill.

Mr. Lloyd denied seven requests for abortions between March and Dec. 19, 2017. President Donald Trump's administration requires abortion requests be approved by the ORR director, but in previous administrations, the director's approval was only necessary when federal funds would pay for the procedure. Groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Equity Forward and the American Civil Liberties Union have called for Mr. Lloyd's resignation.

"We really want to send the message that any attempts to take away abortion and deny abortion for any woman, rich or poor, whether she is an immigrant or otherwise, will be met with strong resistance, and we're not giving up," Ravina Daphtary, director of state strategies for All Above All, told The Hill.

Mr. Lloyd previously worked as a lawyer for the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization that opposes abortion, before joining President Trump's transition team in 2017. HHS Secretary Alex Azar has defended Mr. Lloyd's decision to deny the abortions.

"We are charged with these young women and young men who are minors. They are put into our charge and custody and we have to take care of them and have to ensure and look out for their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as for … the wellbeing of their unborn children, and so we're doing the best we can there," Mr. Azar said, according to The Hill.

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