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“In our hearts and minds today: all of the fathers and parents who have been separated from their children at borders. Keep families together,” read the tweet sent by the nonprofit health organization on Sunday.
The caption was accompanied by an illustration that read, “You deserve to be together regardless of immigration status. Keeping families together is reproductive justice.”
In our hearts and minds today: all of the fathers and parents who have been separated from their children at borders. Keep families together. #FathersDay
art: Repeal Hyde Art Project pic.twitter.com/7NPiyXlL7z
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) June 17, 2018
Bill Mitchell, the host of the pro-Trump media company YourVoice America, wrote in a now-deleted tweet, “Really? Planned Parenthood advocating for keeping kids with their parents?”
Others joined in to blast Planned Parenthood.
That’s rich coming for you!! How many babies are murdered each https://t.co/V5eBkUwYIw don’t consider that as being separated from a parent???
— Brenda Hill Skylstad (@BSkylstad) June 17, 2018
Both are terrible injustices. PPFA has no right to post this though with the millions they kill each year.
— William Henrich (@henrichw63) June 18, 2018
Planned Parenthood knows nothing about keeping families together. Main goal is to destroy families. Especially African Americans. One of the most racist organization on the planet
— chad henderson (@DontBlameDaChad) June 18, 2018
wow such hypocrisy
— Jarod Smith (@jarod_smith) June 18, 2018
The country is dramatically divided over the president’s immigration enforcement policy, which entails detaining and criminally charging people who enter the country illegally and separating them from their children. On Monday, reporters entered the McAllen, Texas, detention facility that houses more than 1,100 detainees, where people were sleeping on mattresses under foil blankets.
“We did see the children who were held inside here,” Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who visited the facility earlier this month, told CNN. “In wire-mesh, chain linked cages that are about 30 by 30, a lot of young folks put into them. I must say, though, far fewer than I was here two weeks ago. I was told that buses full [of children] were taken away before I arrived.”
According to CBS News, in similar cases, the George W. Bush administration made concessions for parents accompanied by their children, and under former President Barack Obama, families were kept intact while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.
Many have decried Trump’s policy as a human rights issue. On Sunday, former first lady Laura Bush, the wife of former President George W. Bush, wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post, saying, “I live in a border state. I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”
Former first lady Michelle Obama shared Laura Bush’s tweet, saying, “Sometimes truth transcends party.”
Sometimes truth transcends party. https://t.co/TeFM7NmNzU
— Michelle Obama (@MichelleObama) June 18, 2018
Hillary Clinton has called the policy “an absolute disgrace,” and celebrities Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, and Chrissy Teigen have all protested. The American Academy of Pediatrics released an open letter to President Trump that read, “Based on empirical evidence of the psychological harm that children and parents experience when separated, we implore you to reconsider this policy and commit to the more humane practice of housing families together pending immigration proceedings to protect them from further trauma.”
On Sunday, first lady Melania Trump said in a statement to CNN through her spokesperson Stephanie Grisham, “Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform. She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart.”
And on Monday, the president tweeted that the policy is “the Democrats fault for being weak and ineffective with Boarder Security and Crime.”
People in both the anti-abortion and pro-abortion-rights communities have accused the other of hypocrisy regarding immigration.
"“Illegal aliens do not have a right to have an abortion in the United States…" Interesting how a group who calls itself "pro-life" disparages said life by calling a human being "illegal." #Immigration #abortionrights https://t.co/00SY8dZHyj
— Jose Soto (@therealjosesoto) June 4, 2018
Yes, to the tweet I just read and can't find — this is an opportunity for the pro-life movement to step up. Religious groups, immigration, left and right, Republican/Democrat. No one wants a child ripped from his mother's arms and lost. #WhereAreTheChildren
— Julianna Baggott (@jcbaggott) May 26, 2018
pro-life people who only speak out on abortion need to rename their group;immigration is pro-life, sanctuary cities are pro-life; helping refugees is pro-life, gun control is pro-life, right 2 clean water is pro-life, ending police brutality is pro-life; equal rights are pro-life
— elizabethh (@eliz18mcdermott) March 25, 2018
Over the weekend, Charles C. Camosy, a board member of Democrats for Life, published an article in the New York Times titled “You Can’t Be Pro-Life and Against Immigrant Children,” in which he stated that “being ‘pro-life, pro-family’ is not a euphemism for opposing abortion and same-sex marriage. It acknowledges that protecting children, including ones not yet born, often requires protecting and supporting their mothers and families too. We are in the midst of a serious crisis for vulnerable children and families, though, and these ‘pro-life, pro-family’ organizations have been largely silent.”
Last week, Pope Francis, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which opposes abortion, issued a statement that read in part, “…these persons, our brothers and sisters, need ‘ongoing protection,’ independently of whatever migrant status they may have. Their fundamental rights and their dignity need to be protected and defended. Particular concern must be shown for migrant children and their families, those who are victims of human trafficking rings, and those displaced due to conflicts, natural disasters and persecution.”
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