Scott Lloyd, the head of the US Office of Refugee Resettlement (Photo: Getty Images)


For men like Scott Lloyd, abortion is only OK when it benefits them

The US official who has made a career from denying women access to reproductive healthcare once paid for his ex-partner to have an abortion, reports say. The hypocrisy is disgusting, says Marisa Bate

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By Marisa Bate on

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that Republican men don’t support abortion unless it’s for own their mistresses. Or, in Scott Lloyd’s case, their ex-partner.

Scott Lloyd is the head of the US administration’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. Since taking on the role in March 2017, which oversees 12,000 migrants under the age of 18, Lloyd has forcefully imposed his anti-abortion beliefs on the department. In fact, you could go as far as saying Lloyd is obsessed with blocking abortion. So much so, he famously tried to halt an abortion on one undocumented 17-year-old mid-procedure, after she taken the first two pills, proposing a scientifically dubious method to reverse the process. He has sent young women seeking abortion to religious counselling and forced them to take medically unnecessary ultrasounds; he has prevented at least one rape victim having a termination. In a deposition in a case brought against him by American Civil Liberties Union in 2017, Mother Jones reports, Lloyd stated he never passes an abortion request that lands on his desk. And if you have any doubt left about his feelings on abortion, here’s what he did before he started blocking abortions for migrant teens, according to Mother Jones:

“Lloyd worked in the Bush-era Health and Human Services Department, where he helped draft ‘conscience’ regulations allowing medical providers to opt out of care they objected to on religious grounds, including abortions. He then co-founded a pro-life law firm in Virginia and served on the board of a crisis pregnancy center before working for the Catholic Knights of Columbus and, according to his resume, helping to craft a 20-week abortion ban that’s become law in six states and been proposed in the House and Senate.”

Yet, Scott Lloyd once paid for a woman’s abortion, which he revealed in a essay he wrote as a student, given to Mother Jones by a former classmate. To be fair, Catholic Lloyd was fundamentally against the abortion and wanted to put the baby up for adoption. The six-page essay, written in 2004, was part of a class discussing ethics, religion and the law with issues such as poverty, healthcare and abortion. He wrote: “The truth about abortion is that my first child is dead, and no woman, man, Supreme Court, or government—NOBODY—has the right to tell me that she doesn’t belong here.”

He financially enabled and supported a pregnant woman the choice and freedom to make that decision. Ever since, he has made a career of denying women – and now young vulnerable teens – access to that same fundamental right

Lloyd's essay is still so memorable 14 years later to those who were in the class because it was found to be so offensive – especially this part, in which he compares abortion to the Holocaust:

“The Jews who died in the Holocaust had a chance to laugh, play, sing, dance, learn, and love each other. The victims of abortion do not, simply because people have decided this is the way it should be, not through any proper discernment of their humanity. Neither type of murder is more or less tragic, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that they are not both tragedies, and they are not both murder.”

The offensiveness of this comment is boundless and, while it was an opinion expressed as a student, Lloyd's track record on working tirelessly to stop women controlling their own bodies ever since suggests his views are still extreme. And, yet, he paid for an abortion. He may not have wanted to, but he financially enabled and supported a pregnant woman, giving her the choice and freedom to make that decision. Ever since, he has made a career of denying women – and now young, vulnerable teens – access to that same fundamental right.

The hypocrisy of the men in the Republican party is so well noted that it is the fodder of satirical websites. But it’s no joke. The young women who Lloyd is preventing from having abortions are at the intersection of some of America's most hostile and discriminatory policies. Trump and his administration are doing all they can to roll back the clock on liberties hard won and Lloyd is proving a loyal foot soldier. Right now, a group of female campaigners, including Chelsea Clinton, writer, editor and activist Lauren Duca and former Obama adviser Brittany Packnett are pushing back with Rise Up For Roe, a series of nationwide meetings with the purpose of trying to stop the Supreme Court Judge nomination of pro-life Brett Kavanaugh. They aim to protect the 1973 Roe vs Wade ruling that made abortion legal in the United States. With Lloyd preventing raped teen migrants from having an abortion while in detention, clearly the stakes can’t get much higher.

The insult to injury comes from the knowledge that the pro-life campaigners has exercised the very same right they are blocking for others for the benefit of themselves. The hypocrisy is disgusting and the danger to women’s freedom is real.


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Scott Lloyd, the head of the US Office of Refugee Resettlement (Photo: Getty Images)
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