AAP, medical groups urge ICE not to detain pregnant women
MelissaJenco, News Content Editor
The Academy and other medical groups are calling on federal immigration officials
not to detain pregnant women.
Detention “puts the health of women and adolescents and their pregnancies at great
risk,” groups said in a letter to the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs
“Pregnant immigrant women and adolescents should have access to high levels of care,
care that is not available in these facilities,” the groups wrote. “The conditions
in DHS (Department of Homeland Security) facilities are not appropriate for pregnant
women or children.”
Under federal immigration policy since 2016, pregnant women are not detained except
in extraordinary circumstances. However, ICE recently decided not to honor that policy
and to determine detention on a case-by-case basis.
The Academy, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Academy
of Family Physicians signed a letter March 30 saying pregnant women in detention not
only lack access to appropriate care, but also are vulnerable to sexual assault. In
addition, the negative physical and mental impact of being detained can impact their
“We urge ICE to reverse this decision, and instead focus on securing access to adequate,
timely, evidence-based, and comprehensive medical care by medical providers trained
to care for pregnant women and adolescents,” they wrote.
The Academy also is monitoring a Washington Post report that the Trump administration is considering a proposal to deny legal U.S. residency
to immigrants who are using public benefits like Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance
Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
AAP leaders repeatedly have affirmed their dedication to the health of all children
regardless of their immigration status.