Scott Lloyd has been in the news for:— Equity Forward (@EquityForward) August 22, 2018
??Barring women's access to abortion services.
??Refusing to provide transparency in his role in the family separation crisis.
??An explosive profile outlining his extreme beliefs.
And he STILL won't show his face in public... pic.twitter.com/cMCrUaAQex
Scott Lloyd, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement — which oversees the well-being of teenage migrants in federal custody — is an anti-abortion zealot who has fought against abortion practices for years.
His views on the subject are so extreme that one of his colleagues from college kept a copy of an essay he wrote defending his position.
Lloyd may now be a fervid pro-lifer who personally intervenes whenever an unaccompanied minor under his agency’s care seeks an abortion, but according to a Mother Jones report, he once took his previous partner to get an abortion after she became pregnant.
He purportedly argued with her, asking her to give birth so they could give the infant up for adoption. After she decided his idea wasn’t good enough, he took her to the clinic and even paid for half of the procedure.
Despite having respected his then partner’s wishes, Lloyd saw that moment as the beginning of a crusade, as it appears he often tries to do all in his power to stop migrant teens from undergoing abortions, even those who are victims of rape.
While Lloyd has been the subject of two lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) over his agency’s repeated attempts at blocking abortion procedures, many of Lloyd’s university colleagues aren’t the least bit shocked at his current stance.
That’s because in an essay he wrote during his first year as a law student at Catholic University in 2004, he discussed his views extensively, going as far as saying that “If a woman needs to defend so fiercely the ‘one thing they can call their own — their body,’ then they shouldn’t be so careless with it as to have sex when they are not ready to be pregnant.”
In the essay, he gave a hint that the abortion his partner went through made him look at the procedure in a whole different light.
“The truth about abortion,” he wrote, “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 then placed the entire burden of responsibility for pregnancies squarely on women’s shoulders.
“By making the choice to have sex, a woman is making a conscious decision to engage in an act that has the natural result of creating a pregnancy. A pregnancy implicates the rights of two other people — the baby, and the father, whether our government wants to recognize that or not,” he wrote.
He then made the legal case for states to ban abortions.
“A state would not be violating any rights by recognizing and codifying the natural consequence of a person’s action, protecting a fetus’s right to life, and protecting a father’s right to be a father,” he wrote.
In the essay, he argued that women who defend the right to abortions are making little of women as a group by acting as if they cannot handle “the pressures of being a mother, and that they need a procedure that is so directly opposed to femininity.”
“Ask any of the female deans or professors at our school how much abortion was a factor in their success as a female professional,” he wrote, arguing that abortions aren’t an important step in the career of all women, somehow ignoring that pro-choice advocates don’t claim that the procedure should be the norm.
When discussing Roe v. Wade in his essay, he argued the decision was wrong, adding he didn’t “support abortion for any reason,” including “cases of rape, incest, and danger to women.”
He finally wrote that condoning abortion was essentially the same as letting the Holocaust happen.
“The Holocaust was the violent result of society assigning lesser value to a vulnerable segment of its population. Abortion is the same exact thing,” he wrote.
“One can argue that we need to protect women, or they should be allowed to do what they want for their bodies. What prevents you from saying that German society needed protection and Germany was allowed to do what they wanted with their society?” he wrote.
He then made a claim that really offended his classmates.
“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,” he wrote.
According to one former classmate who spoke to Mother Jones, Lloyd’s essay left everyone on edge.
“He was equating abortion with genocide, which I found particularly offensive,” the now-corporate litigator in Washington, D.C., recalled.
Another classmate felt so shocked that the unnamed colleague decided to save a copy.
“This thing was sort of unbelievable,” the anonymous classmate said they thought at the time. “[Lloyd has] become this sort of crusader toward overturning a woman’s right to choose — based on his experience with getting a girl pregnant. I was like, ‘I need to have a record of this.'”
Years later, when news regarding the ACLU’s lawsuit against Lloyd’s agency surfaced, another one of Lloyd’s classmates said she was just heartbroken.
“I saw his picture and what it was related to, and I thought, ‘I know exactly who that is,'” she said. “He’s saying this poor girl can’t do what he was allowed to do — taking the right away from someone that you were allowed to have yourself.”
As a public official, Lloyd is clearly entitled to his personal opinions, but federal courts hold that they must never use their office or power to restrict abortion access by basing their decision on personal and religious beliefs.
While Lloyd claimed in depositions taken by the ACLU that he does not let his religious beliefs influence the decisions made by his office regarding abortion access, he also added he considers “the totality of circumstances” before denying an abortion request.
Considering his essay shows he is against the practice no matter what, it’s hard to believe he’s speaking the truth now.
If his actions are any indication as to whether he was being honest, one can’t be blamed for thinking he does act on his beliefs as he has tried to block a rape victim from having an abortion.
It seems that hypocrisy in President Donald Trump's administration is everywhere.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Wikimedia Commons, Matthew G. Bisanz