WASHINGTON — The Trump-Pence administration will allow the State Department to deny temporary visas to pregnant women. The new rule is expected to take effect today and will give discretion to consular officers to reject women they believe are traveling to the United States and its territories to give birth, making their children U.S. citizens. This policy will include visas issued for pleasure, medical treatment, or to see friends and family. The rule will primarily affect travelers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, because it will not apply to countries in the Visa Waiver Program. Thirty one of the 39 countries in this protected program are from Europe.
This rule is part of a long line of attacks on immigrants by the administration, including ending temporary protected status for several countries; the physical separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border; the rollback of parental rights as part of immigration proceedings; and increased enforcement of detention and deportation.
Statement from Monica Kerrigan, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global:
The Trump-Pence administration’s travel ban on pregnant women is yet again an extreme case of gender and racial discrimination. Once again, the administration demonstrates a willingness to target people of color who try to enter the U.S. and trample on the rights of women and all people who make private decisions about their own bodies and their families. This ban will take effect the day Trump becomes the first president to address the fringe, anti-abortion March for Life. The hypocrisy couldn’t be clearer: on the same day that the President addresses a march themed “pro-woman,” the President will implement a policy that will force women from Africa and Latin America to prove they aren’t pregnant to enter the U.S.
This isn’t the first time the administration has used visas as a tool for its extreme anti-immigrant ideology. Within months of taking office, Trump announced a travel ban against Muslims. The relentless attacks on immigrants by the administration have contributed to a culture of fear in immigrant communities, and often keep far too many from seeking the lifesaving care they need.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
For more than 45 years, Planned Parenthood Global has supported access to sexual and reproductive health care and advocated for reproductive rights around the world. In partnership with more than 100 organizations across 9 focus countries in Africa and Latin America, we advance the health and rights of young people, women and families, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable and underserved. Last year, our partners provided over 5.6 million people with sexual and reproductive health information and services. Our unique sustainability model sets us apart, as we empower partners to stand on their own. We help grassroots organizations develop solid reproductive health programs, identify other sources of funding, build their communications and advocacy skills, and develop strategic plans. Planned Parenthood Global is the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.