News Abortion

“Homeland Security” Now Means Ensuring Undocumented Immigrants In Detention Don’t Get Abortions

Robin Marty

Tucked in the latest Homeland Security bill is a rider saying undocumented female immigrants in custody cannot get abortions.

Many right-wing politicians often find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes  to balancing their anti-abortion fervor, their hatred of undocumented immigrants, and their desire for fiscal austerity at all costs. We saw that play out in Nebraska, where anti-choice, anti-woman Governor Dave Heineman vetoed a bill to maintain Medicaid funding for pre-natal care for undocumented pregnant women, despite the fact that the total funding for the program was less than the costs to taxpayers of one baby born with severe health problems due to lack of pre-natal care. Funding was eventually restored by the legislature.

Now it’s happening on a national scale. GOP House members have taken their zeal for abortion restrictions to the Homeland Security budget, where they added a restriction forbidding women held in detention from getting an abortion — even though this is already forbidden in any case.

In a statement, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, chastised the “unnecessary and redundant” provision, calling it just another chance to score points by bringing abortion into the issue.

“Legislation on critical U.S. national security funding is an inappropriate forum for opponents of women’s health to have injected ideological politics into the debate. Abortion language had no business in this legislation.”

Appreciate our work?

Rewire is a non-profit independent media publication. Your tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.


According to ICE spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez, the agency has never paid for an abortion in the nearly ten years that it has existed. However, House Republicans said they wanted to ensure the language was the same as that in prisons for consistancy’s sake.

The bill is not expected to pass the Senate.

Load More

Enjoy reading Rewire? Sign up for our email list to receive exclusive news and reporting.

Thank you for reading Rewire!