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HHS Watch is a campaign that examines decision makers at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through a full audit into the positions and backgrounds of appointees and continuous monitoring of their actions.

Trump Administration HHS appointees are seeking to undermine proven, popular, and effective reproductive health programs, as well as Americans’ independent reproductive health decisions.

Scott Lloyd, Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement

Prior to fall 2017, Americans didn’t know who E. Scott “Scott” Lloyd was. Most didn’t even realize the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) was part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and that they are in charge of health care for many undocumented immigrants. That changed when it became public that Lloyd barred Jane Doe, a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant housed at a Texas detention center, from accessing abortion services. Lloyd intervened even though she had followed state and federal laws by had securing approval for the abortion from a Texas judge and had private funds to pay for her abortion and transportation to the health center.

The case played out in a dramatic fashion through federal court proceedings: The Trump Administration HHS leveraged its extraordinary influence to undermine Doe’s right to an abortion, ultimately backing down only at the very last minute. We now know that this was not a single isolated incident. In February 2018, it was discovered that Lloyd has intervened in the cases of at least seven immigrant women.

Watchdog Group Launches Ads Asking Sec. Azar, Do You Stand With Scott Lloyd? Read our press release.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar defended ORR to reporters. By defending ORR, Azar is standing up for:

… violating constitutional rights
… ignoring the rule of law
… tracking immigrant women’s pregnancy status through a weekly spreadsheet
… racking up legal bills on the taxpayers’ dime
… considering using unproven medical treatments on minors
… personally intervening in immigrants’ health care
… eliminating abortion from appropriate routine medical health care
… denying access to abortion – even for women who have been raped

Ever since October, Lloyd continues to capture headlines with alarming frequency for his unethical and illegal acts as an agency director in charge of undocumented minors.


 [New Yorker, 3/8/18]

 [Washington Post, 2/15/18]

 [Associated Press, 12/21/17]

[Buzzfeed, 10/25/18]

Lloyd has deep roots in the anti-abortion, anti-LGBT movement. Now, he has put those personal beliefs into action as director of ORR and guardian for undocumented minors.

  • He has espoused radical views on reproductive health issues including being opposed to birth control.
  • Lloyd co-founded LegalWorks, a pro-life “legal apostolate” that pitches itself as a firm committed to representing clients “while remaining faithful to Church teaching.” Lloyd also co-founded WitnessWorks for a Cultural Life, which Business Insider called “an anti-abortion religious organization that even has its own ‘pro-life, pro-faith search engine.’”
  • Lloyd was formerly the Assistant Director for Public Policy for the Knights of Columbus.
  • He claimed to be the “architect of late-term abortion restriction that is law in six states and is a bill in U.S. House and Senate.”
  • Among the organization’s major programs is the Ultrasound Initiative, which has made KOC one of the leading funders of ultrasounds in the U.S. — including ultrasounds at anti-abortion counseling centers like the one ORR required Jane Doe visit.
  • As recently as 2016, Lloyd served on the board of Front Royal Pregnancy Center, an anti-abortion counseling center.

Lloyd’s volume of work related to abortion, same-sex marriage, and families includes numerous remarkable passages.

Lloyd: “I suggest that the American people make a deal with women: So long as you are using the condom, pill or patch I am providing with my money, you are going to promise not to have an abortion if the contraception fails, which it often does.” [National Catholic Register, 8/28/09]

Lloyd: “Contraception enables sexual encounters and relationships … contraceptives do not work as advertised, and their failure is at the heart of the demand for abortion.” [The Federalist, 8/18/15]

Lloyd: “A family that ditches TV protects its kids from countless examples of violence, vulgarity, gore, sexual content, consumerism, and stupidity.” [Ethika Politika, 6/30/11]

Lloyd claimed that the law was “one of the least Christian elements of our society,” arguing that we had to “Look no further than no fault divorce, legalized abortion on demand, and gay marriage as confirmation.” [LegalWorks Apostolate, 3/25/11]

Lloyd: “To confer the same status to gay and heterosexual relationships is to refuse to acknowledge the many benefits heterosexual relationships provide to society that homosexual relationships simply cannot provide.” [Ethika Politika, 10/10/11]

In June 2011, Lloyd suggested that state legislators should “write a law that says essentially that women must notify the men of their decision to abort, and gain their consent, except in situations where their reasons for aborting relate to the physical realities of pregnancy.” [Ethika Politika, 6/2/11]

Additional news clips on Lloyd’s controversial actions:

Dianne Feinstein demands Trump official involved in Jane Doe case resign [VICE News, 3/7/18]

Trump official won’t let teen who wanted abortion meet with lawyers [VICE News, 3/2/18]

Patty Murray demands resignation of HHS official who leads refugee office [Washington Examiner, 3/1/18]
Trump’s abortion policy sheds light on ad hoc decision-making [Politico, 2/28/18]

How the Trump administration tries to stop undocumented teens from getting abortions [VICE News, 2/28/18]

Immigrant rights group in email says it was warned not to mention abortion to teens [Washington Post, 2/15/18]

Trump officials discussed “reversing” abortion for undocumented teen [VICE News, 1/31/18]

Trump official blocked a teen’s abortion, calling it ‘violence against an innocent life’ [Washington Post, 12/21/17]

A Trump Official Once Suggested Women Who Get Free Contraception Should Swear They Won’t Get An Abortion [Buzzfeed, 10/25/18]

Young, pregnant migrant’s case becomes a test of Trump policies on abortion and immigration [LA Times, 10/19/17]

Anti-Reproductive Health Appointees

The Trump Administration appointees with influence over critical health policies and programs.

Maggie Wynne

Counselor for Human Services Policy, Office of the Secretary

Valerie Huber

Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Population Affairs; Chief of Staff, Assistant Secretary for Health

Steven Valentine

Deputy Chief of Staff, Assistant Secretary for Health

Cathy Deeds

Senior Advisor for Special Initiatives, Office of Population Affairs

Mary A. Vigil

Senior Advisor, Office of Population Affairs

Roger Severino

Director, HHS Office of Civil Rights

Shannon Royce

Director, HHS Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Teresa Manning Wagner

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Population Affairs

About Us

Equity Forward

Equity Forward believes all people should have equitable access to high-quality reproductive health care.