CO Lawmaker Says It’s Hypocritical for Pro-Choice Dems to Worry About Immigrants Who Miscarry in ICE Custody

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State Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs)

State Sen. Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs) criticized presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) on social media last week after she expressed concern for pregnant women who have miscarried while in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), questioning whether she has the “moral authority” to do so given her pro-choice stance.

“Detaining pregnant women is dangerous,” Harris said on Twitter last week. “As many as 28 women have miscarried in ICE custody over the past two years. I’ve called on this Administration to end this practice now.”

Hill took to Facebook with his response, asking, “How can you have any moral authority decrying an accidental miscarriage when you support voluntary miscarriage (aka abortion) up to the point of birth?

He went on to say, “It seems the only logical difference is the desire of the mother. Does this change the moral logic?

It’s worth noting that Hill’s characterization of abortion “up to the point of birth” is misleading, part of a wider effort by conservatives to stoke outrage and spread misinformation about abortions that take place later in pregnancy…

“Pregnant women, regardless of immigration status, deserve dignity, respect, and access to adequate healthcare,” Fawn Bolak of ProgressNow Colorado told the Colorado Times Recorder. “It’s grossly inappropriate and ill-informed to compare an asylum seeker miscarrying a pregnancy while detained in ICE custody, to someone having full access and ability to make their own decisions about their pregnancy and family.”

It appears that pregnant immigrant women in ICE custody aren’t getting access to adequate healthcare given that the rate of miscarriage among pregnant detainees has nearly doubled under the Trump Administration, according to a report from the Daily Beast. 

That could be due to the fact that Trump weakened protections for pregnant immigrants in 2017 when he rescinded an Obama-era policy that forbade ICE from detaining pregnant women in nearly all circumstances. The new rule came as part of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration, but didn’t garner the same degree of media attention as his policy of separating children from their families at the border.

Trump’s ICE directive makes no special exemptions for pregnant detainees, although it does require that they receive appropriate medical care while in custody. It also states that if adequate care cannot be provided, they must be transferred to a facility that is equipped to provide medical treatment.

report from Buzzfeed News, however, found that pregnant women are actually being denied medical care when in dire need of it, including during and after miscarriage. It also found that some pregnant women have been physically abused and shackled around their bellies while in ICE custody.

Hill didn’t respond to a request for comment.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    So according to this asshole – and there is no other word for him – pro-choice Democrats should not be troubled by a woman who has chosen to carry a pregnancy to term and have a baby to miscarry. WTF!

    Pro-choice means pro-choice.

  2. DaftPunk says:

    Demonstrating clearly that to GrOPer MAGAts fetuses are more important than women (as if there were ever any doubt.)

  3. unnamed says:

    The Republican mantra: Unborn lives matter.  But Post-Birth Abortion is totally cool by us.

  4. Pseudonymous says:

    “It seems the only logical difference is the desire of the mother. Does this change the moral logic?”

    So, Owen Hill thinks that doing something to a woman against her will is the same as doing something to her in concert with it?  Rape is fine– ultimately she might have decided to have sex with someone anyway.

  5. Genghis says:

    It's not the "accidental miscarriage" that people are "decrying," ya sociopathic sack of shit.

    But hey, you knew that, didn’t you, Owen?

  6. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    I wonder how Senator Hill feels about "pregnancy tourism?" That is the situation where rich pregnant women from other countries legally enter the USA so they can have their babies here, thus ensuring US citizenship status for the infants. Then they return home. There are referral centers in southern California that cater almost exclusively to women from China.

    Note that I have no opinion on "pregnancy tourism." But it is another example of why our laws on immigration and asylum are in serious need of a realistic overhaul. 

    • JohnInDenver says:

      CHB —

      can we first have Trump & Republican leaders agree to actually FOLLOW existing laws and treaties, and have the agencies do the same, before we begin the discussion?

      then, can we have some assurance that "realistic overhaul" will actually be introduced and voted on?  Bipartisan Senate proposal seemed like a good start to "realistic," but was killed by pressure on Republicans.

      finally, coming off hearing many high school debate rounds on an immigration reform topic this year, can we decide on what criteria ought to be in play and what time frame should be considered?  If a major determinant is going to be race or ethnicity, I don't want to play at all.

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