03.14.18

Senator Murray and Democrats Call on Secretary Azar to Fire Scott Lloyd Over Ideological Interference with Young Women’s Health Decisions

Senator Murray and Senate Democrats called on Secretary Azar to fire Scott Lloyd as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement amid ongoing concerns about his ideological decisions to interfere with women’s reproductive freedoms

 

As Director, Lloyd has implemented a self-professed “ad hoc” process for impeding young women’s health care decisions

 

Senator Murray has repeatedly criticized Director Lloyd’s interference with women’s reproductive freedoms and previously called on him to resign

 

The call for action from Senate Democrats comes as a petition drive gains momentum, putting new public pressure on Secretary Azar

 

Murray:We cannot permit bullies to try and intimidate vulnerable young women who are making the health care decisions that are right for them—not President Trump, not Vice President Pence, and not Scott Lloyd.”

 

***WATCH SEN. MURRAY’S SPEECH HERE***

 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined by other Democrats, took to the Senate floor to call on Secretary Azar to fire Scott Lloyd as Director of Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

 

Senator Murray has repeatedly criticized Scott Lloyd’s decisions to personally interfere with the reproductive freedoms of young women under the Office’s supervision. After reports that Director Lloyd also had the Office consider an unproven and unethical abortion “reversal” process and was making his decisions to interfere with women’s health care decisions on an “ad hoc” basis, Senator Murray called for his resignation. As public pressure continues to grow, Senator Murray and her colleagues demanded Secretary Azar take action and relieve Scott Lloyd of his duties.

 

Key excerpts of Senator Murray’s remarks:

 

“Time and again, President Trump and Vice President Pence have made clear they will put extreme ideology ahead of women’s health and constitutional freedoms. We have seen it in their efforts to undermine women’s ability to get reproductive health care from providers they trust. We have seen it in their efforts to let employers deny women birth control coverage based on what they believe—and regardless of what the women who work for them believe. We have seen it in the Administration’s close coordination with a hate group on tailoring policies to undermine Planned Parenthood. We heard it loud and clear when Vice President Pence laid out his far-right vision that women’s freedom to have safe and legal abortions could end ‘in our time.’ And we have seen it implemented to an appalling extreme in Scott Lloyd’s inexcusably harmful, and ideologically driven, actions as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.”

 

“… under Director Lloyd [ORR] has become a testing ground for the radical Trump-Pence agenda to interfere with women’s health choices. Repeatedly, when the young women under the supervision of Director Lloyd’s office—some of whom are survivors of sexual abuse—have sought safe, legal abortion, his response has been to personally step in and put up barriers to care. He worked to prevent young women in his custody from speaking with lawyers about their rights. He personally interfered to try and pressure women out of their decisions to have abortions. Director Lloyd even had his office explore the possibility of reversing an abortion once the medical procedure was underway—a practice the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has noted is “unproven and unethical.”

 

 “I am again calling on Secretary Azar to fire Scott Lloyd as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Because Scott Lloyd’s actions on his personal beliefs about what women can and can’t do with their bodies show a fundamental disrespect for the rights and equality of women—as does setting policy that has huge implications for women’s health and lives through an “ad hoc” process. Scott Lloyd’s actions to undermine women’s health and deny women’s rights are utterly unacceptable and must not go unchecked. We cannot permit bullies to try and intimidate vulnerable young women who are making the health care decisions that are right for them—not President Trump, not Vice President Pence, and not Scott Lloyd.”

 

Video of Sen. Murray’s speech available HERE.

  

Full text below of Sen. Murray’s remarks:

 

“Thank you M. President.

 

“Time and again, President Trump and Vice President Pence have made clear they will put extreme ideology ahead of women’s health and constitutional freedoms.

 

“We have seen it in their efforts to undermine women’s ability to get reproductive health care from providers they trust.

 

“We have seen it in their efforts to let employers deny women birth control coverage based on what they believe—and regardless of what the women who work for them believe.

 

“We have seen it in the Administration’s close coordination with a hate group on tailoring policies to undermine Planned Parenthood.

 

“We heard it loud and clear when Vice President Pence laid out his far-right vision that women’s freedom to have safe and legal abortions could end “in our time.”

 

“And we have seen it implemented to an appalling extreme in Scott Lloyd’s inexcusably harmful, and ideologically driven, actions as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

 

“This is a little known, but very important office inside the  Department of Health and Human Services that helps resettle refugees fleeing violence, resettles and integrates Iraqis and Afghans whose lives are in danger because they worked for the U.S. Government, provides rehabilitative, social, and legal services to survivors of torture, and is charged with overseeing a network of providers across the United States who care for unaccompanied children who arrive at our nation’s borders—children and youth who are seeking safety in our country.

 

“However, under Director Lloyd it has become a testing ground for the radical Trump-Pence agenda to interfere with women’s health choices. Repeatedly, when the young women under the supervision of Director Lloyd’s office—some of whom are survivors of sexual abuse—have sought safe, legal abortion, his response has been to personally step in and put up barriers to care.

 

“He worked to prevent young women in his custody from speaking with lawyers about their rights. He personally interfered to try and pressure women out of their decisions to have abortions. Director Lloyd even had his office explore the possibility of reversing an abortion once the medical procedure was underway—a practice the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has noted is “unproven and unethical.”

 

“A deposition from ongoing litigation showed just how reckless and irresponsible Scott Lloyd has been. In emails, he admitted he was making these decisions on an “ad hoc” basis. In other words, Director Lloyd wasn’t concerned with fulfilling his duty as head of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. He wasn’t concerned with the wellbeing of these women. He wasn’t concerned with their personal decisions or their freedoms. He was only concerned with furthering an extreme, ideological agenda.

 

“Well M. President, women, and men, across the country are not having it.

 

“They are standing up and standing against Scott Lloyd’s extreme policies. Many have signed a petition calling for his removal. And they are just the latest addition to a growing outcry against Director Lloyd’s willful disregard for women’s rights. Many Senate and House Democrats have also called for him to step down.

 

“I am again calling on Secretary Azar to fire Scott Lloyd as Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

 

“Because Scott Lloyd’s actions on his personal beliefs about what women can and can’t do with their bodies show a fundamental disrespect for the rights and equality of women—as does setting policy that has huge implications for women’s health and lives through an “ad hoc” process.

 

“Scott Lloyd’s actions to undermine women’s health and deny women’s rights are utterly unacceptable and must not go unchecked. We cannot permit bullies to try and intimidate vulnerable young women who are making the health care decisions that are right for them—not President Trump, not Vice President Pence, and not Scott Lloyd.

 

“I am going to keep standing up and fighting for the rights of women and immigrants across the country and for the rule of law that ensures those rights. And I am going to keep fighting against those who think they are above the law and who want to roll the clock back on these freedoms.

 

“I urge my colleagues to join me in standing with women, standing for the rule of law, and calling for Scott Lloyd’s immediate removal from office.

 


“Thank you.”

 

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