Trump Official Scott Lloyd's Anti-Abortion Essay From College Is So Extreme, It’ll Make Your Head Spin
Since being appointed by President Trump in 2017, Office of Refugee Resettlement director Scott Lloyd has spearheaded the administration's efforts to deny abortions to undocumented teens in U.S. custody. On Wednesday, an anti-abortion essay that Lloyd wrote in college was published in Mother Jones, and it depicts a man whose views on reproductive choice are extreme — even by the Republican Party's standards.
In 2004, Lloyd reportedly wrote that women give up their "bodily integrity" when they choose to have sex, and that they shouldn't have sex if they don't want to be mothers. His essay reportedly compared abortion to genocide and suggested that legalized abortion is worse than the Holocaust. According to Mother Jones, he wrote that he opposes abortion even when a woman's life is at risk. He also acknowledged, however, that he had once paid for an ex-girlfriend to have an abortion.
Lloyd, whose office operates within the Department of Health and Human Services, is in charge of providing health care to undocumented minors in U.S. custody. He drew headlines in 2017 for attempting to block several such minors from having abortions, at least one of whom was impregnated by rape. His attempts were unsuccessful; the courts sided against the administration and allowed the girls in question to terminate their pregnancies.
In another case, Lloyd's office considered using a controversial, unproven hormone treatment to "reverse" an undocumented teen's medical abortion when it was already underway, according to court documents. The Washington Post reported that Lloyd has personally attempted to convince undocumented minors from having abortions; emails obtained by Politico found that in one instance, he directed his office's staff to send an undocumented pregnant girl to an anti-abortion counseling center when she expressed a desire to meet with a lawyer about having an abortion.
None of these actions are surprising, given the views Lloyd expressed about abortion in 2004. As a first-year law student at Catholic University, he reportedly wrote a manifesto of sorts outlining his absolute opposition to abortion rights, even in cases of rape and incest, and shared it members of a class called Catholic Social Teaching. Former students in that course told Mother Jones that the essay became the talk of the class after he posted it online, and sparked a huge debate amongst students.
Lloyd reportedly wrote that women who have sex before they're ready to be mothers are being "careless," and that the government, rather than ensuring a right to abortion, should protect a man's "right to be a father."
“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," Lloyd reportedly wrote. "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."
In another section, according to the report, Lloyd explained his opposition to Roe v. Wade, calling abortion "directly opposed to femininity" and suggesting that the procedure hurts professional women's career prospects.
"It doesn’t speak highly of women to assume that they can’t handle the pressures of being a mother, and that they need a procedure that is so directly opposed to femininity," Lloyd reportedly wrote. "Ask any of the female deans or professors at our school how much abortion was a factor in their success as a female professional. Ask them if having a child spelled mental and financial ruin. I sort of doubt that abortion was a key step on their path to success."
Finally, the report noted that Lloyd wrote that abortion is "the exact same thing" as genocide, and compared Jewish victims of the Holocaust to aborted fetuses.
"The Jews who died in the Holocaust had a chance to laugh, play, sing, dance, learn, and love each other," Lloyd wrote. "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."
Mother Jones reported that this same essay, however, Lloyd said that he had once paid for his ex-girlfriend to have an abortion after impregnating her, explaining that if he hadn't given her the money, "I would be the enemy and she would stop listening to me." Nevertheless, he ultimately concluded that "absolutely every single reason to support an abortion is a distortion of the truth."