That is, if they are currently located in a state that does not permit abortion, they must be moved to a state that does.
"ORR staff and care providers must not prevent UC from accessing legal abortion related services and that ORR staff and care providers must make all reasonable efforts to facilitate access to these services if requested by the UC," the guidance states. "This may involve transporting a minor to a state in which abortion is lawful and available, if the minor is currently in a state in which abortion is not lawful or available."
A representative for the Department of Health and Human Services said the updated guidance is a result of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.
It's not clear how the policy abides by the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal taxpayer dollars from funding abortions except for cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
Using taxpayer dollars to transport migrant girls to states where abortion is legal simply so they can procure an abortion certainly appears to be an example of taxpayer-funded abortion.
What was the reaction?
Pro-life organizations understood the updated guidance to be an endorsement of taxpayer-funded abortion.
"The Biden administration’s obsession with abortion is on display in this guidance which prioritizes placing all unaccompanied pregnant teens in radical abortion states — whether they want an abortion or not," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.
"When an abortion is sought, there are no gestational limits, not even on late-term abortions — part of the Democrats’ larger agenda of imposing abortion on demand nationwide, up until the moment of birth, paid for by taxpayers," Dannenfelser added.
Pro-abortion organizations, meanwhile, applauded the move — but said it does not go far enough.
"While this is a step in the right direction, the Biden administration must continue its efforts to ensure abortion access for other people in government custody by strengthening Bureau of Prisons, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection policies," said a statement from the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
"Abortion is essential health care, and accessing it shouldn’t depend on your immigration status, whether you’re incarcerated, or which state you’re in," the statement added.