FOIA Lawsuit Pertaining to Reproductive Health Care for Undocumented Minors, ACLU v. Department of Health and Human Services
Undocumented minors who arrive in the United States are placed in the custody of the U.S. Department of Human Services, which contracts with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), among others, to provide for their care. In June 2008, the media reported that Catholic Charities workers in Richmond provided consent for an undocumented teenage girl to obtain an abortion. As a result of the abortion, the federal government changed its policies to prohibit government employees or contractors from providing consent for an abortion. The ACLU sought documents pertaining to this policy change under the federal Freedom of Information Act, but the documents were not provided within the statutory deadline. We filed suit under FOIA against the Department of Human Services on November 17, 2008. The case was settled on May 6, 2009, with the government handing over virtually all of the requested documents.