U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has introduced legislation to ban taxpayer-funded abortions for undocumented immigrants, according to a news release. This legislation comes after guidance from the Biden administration last month that was designed to ensure access to reproductive health care for unaccompanied minors.

According to the ACLU, “On November 10, 2022, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) announced new guidance to ensure that unaccompanied immigrant minors have access to abortion while in ORR shelters awaiting reunification with family in the United States. The policy requires ORR to prioritize placing pregnant immigrant youth in shelters in states where abortion has not been banned, but if a minor is placed in a shelter in a state with restrictive abortion laws and requests an abortion, the policy requires timely transfer to another state to access this care.”

The proposed legislation has support from Colorado’s entire Republican congressional delegation, including Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO). “The Biden administration is unlawfully using taxpayer money to transport pregnant, illegal alien children across state lines for late-term abortions,” said Boebert in a news release. “My colleagues and I have introduced bicameral legislation to end these illegal and horrific policies once and for all. Taxpayer money should never fund abortions, whether for citizens or non-citizens. Our priority at the southern border should be security and peace, not death and destruction.”

The 1976 Hyde Amendment already prevents federal funds from being used for elective abortions. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Hyde Amendment “blocks federal funds from being used to pay for abortion outside of the exceptions for rape, incest, or if the pregnancy is determined to endanger the woman’s life, resulting in dramatically limited coverage of abortion under Medicaid and other federal programs.”

According to the ACLU, many of the undocumented children qualify for those Hyde Amendment exceptions. “This new policy is an essential step in protecting the health and well-being of this marginalized population,” reads a Nov. 21 news release. “ORR is the government authority in charge of caring for unaccompanied immigrant minors who are detained after crossing the border to find their families in the U.S. and to seek a safer, better life. Unfortunately, many of these young people experience sexual assault in their countries of origin or on the perilous journey to the U.S., and some may enter ORR custody pregnant. This policy will help ensure that any minor who is pregnant is able to quickly and confidentially access abortion care, if she believes that is the right decision for herself and her future. Pregnant immigrant minors deserve to have their bodily autonomy respected, including while in government custody.”

Both Lamborn and Buck attacked the Biden administration’s immigration policy. “American’s hardworking tax dollars should never go toward paying for abortions, let alone paying for the transportation of illegal immigrants across state lines to receive abortions,” said Lamborn in a news release. “This is yet another example of Biden’s radical border policies which will only exacerbate the crises at our Southern Border. I thank Congresswoman Boebert for her leadership on this important issue.”

Boebert, Lamborn, and Buck at the Centennial Institute’s Western Conservative Summit.

Buck claimed that Democrats are trying to exploit pregnant children. “The chaos at the southern border has threatened our national sovereignty and resulted in record-high crossings,” he said in a news release. “Instead of directing funds to help U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) control the chaos, President Biden is appealing to the Left’s agenda, using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions for illegal migrants. Using ICE and HHS resources to transport pregnant migrants to other states is irresponsible and does nothing but exploit expectant mothers. Congress must take swift legislative action to defend our sovereignty and protect the sanctity of life.”

Progressive groups have criticized Boebert’s bill, both for its attack on reproductive rights and for its racism. “If there’s anything Lauren Boebert enjoys more than demonizing groups of people, it’s demonizing reproductive rights,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Sara Loflin. “After promising just a few days ago to ‘turn the temperature down in Washington,’ Boebert has predictably shown once again what to expect for her next two years in office: more pointless grandstanding and racist dog-whistling, while continuing to ignore the real issues affecting the residents of her district. Attacking the reproductive rights of undocumented immigrants will not create a single job or bring a single new dollar to rural Colorado. The voters of the Third District want solutions for reducing inflation, providing essential services, and growing rural Colorado’s economy,” said Loflin. “Instead, Rep. Boebert continues to waste the opportunity voters have given her to be part of the solution to any issue—instead relying on her attention-seeking vitriol. So much for ‘changing course,’ after coming so close to being defeated a recount was legally mandatory.”

“No human being is illegal,” said Dusti Gurule, President and CEO at the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR). “These racist and anti-immigrant attacks towards our community cause violence and harm towards people who should and must receive access to reproductive healthcare, such as abortion, regardless of citizenship status. Our voters spoke this past election, specifically Latino voters, who said in our recent Colorado Latino Policy Agenda that they do not want the government interfering in their personal bodily decisions. This bill from Rep. Boebert is yet another example of how the Republican Party will stop at nothing to vilify our immigrant community and ignore the will of Colorado voters who support access to abortion for all people.”

Additional supporters of Boebert’s bill include Colorado Christian University’s Centennial Institute. “The Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University supports the ‘No Taxpayer Funds for Illegal Alien Abortions Act’ put forth by Representative Lauren Boebert,” the institute said in a news release. “As abortion is only legal on a state-by-state basis, it is not the place of the federal government to be actively finding ways around states’ abortion laws in an effort to assist illegal aliens in procuring an abortion. This bill still provides protections for women to receive the healthcare they need while stopping the unnecessary use of government funds and resources to help illegal aliens obtain elective abortion procedures. We believe in the rights of all preborn children, and this bill offers the necessary protections for those innocent lives.”

Karen Middleton, president of Cobalt, said in a text message, “Lauren Boebert almost lost her election because she is completely out of touch with Colorado voters. This is yet another example of someone who is primarily concerned with grandstanding and angertainment, not addressing the needs of her constituents.”