Stillbirths that take place at facilities of the U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement are not classified as deaths by the agency, according to a recent official statement.
On Feb. 22, a pregnant woman from Honduras went into premature labor while being processed for release, tragically delivering a stillborn baby, according to a joint statement released by ICE and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday.
“She went into premature labor, at 27 weeks pregnant, and delivered an unresponsive male infant. [ICE Health Service Corps] initiated CPR and EMS transported them both to the Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas, where the infant was later pronounced dead,” noted the statement.
The border security agencies then proceeded to explain that “a stillbirth is not considered an in-custody death” due to “investigative and reporting purposes.”
“ICE and CBP officials are proactively disclosing the details of this tragic event to be transparent with Congress, the media and the public,” continued the agencies.
Not recognizing stillborn babies of migrants as individual humans appears to be at odds with other administration policies.
President Donald Trump has pursued multiple pro-life agenda items, including the reversal of an Obama era ban on states defunding Planned Parenthood, appointing judges who identify as pro-life, and allowing broader exemptions for groups opposed to providing coverage for abortions.
At the annual March for Life rally held in January, Vice President Mike Pence told those gathered at National Mall that Trump was “the most pro-life president in American history.”
ICE and CBP’s joint statement comes as the United States Senate failed to pass the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which if enacted would have required health care providers to give the same protection to babies who survive an attempted abortion as they would to babies not marked for abortion.
Introduced by Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, the final vote was 53 in favor and 44 opposed. All but three of the Senate Democrats voted against it. The bill needed at least 60 votes to pass.
Trump took to Twitter to express his dismay at the result, stating that he believed the result showed that the “Democrat position on abortion is now so extreme that they don’t mind executing babies AFTER birth.”
“This will be remembered as one of the most shocking votes in the history of Congress. If there is one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting the lives of innocent babies,” tweeted Trump.