WASHINGTON, D.C., March 2, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Under new guidelines issued by the Obama administration, immigration agents must provide taxpayer-funded abortion services, transportation to the abortion clinic, and transgender hormone therapy for illegal aliens awaiting deportation. 

The policy overhaul is contained in the Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS) of 2011, issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The new rules, the first issued since 2008, state, “A pregnant detainee in custody shall have access to pregnancy services including…abortion services.” The government must also furnish “counseling and assistance for pregnant women in keeping with their express desires in planning for their pregnancy, whether they desire abortion, adoptive services, or to keep the child.”

If the detainee says her pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or if her life would be endangered, “ICE will assume the costs associated with a female detainee’s decision to terminate a pregnancy.” ICE agents must “arrange for transportation at no cost to the detainee for the medical appointment,” even for elective abortions.

While the policy will pay for and transport pregnant illegals to an abortion appointment, the new regulations may block female detainees’ access to crisis pregnancy centers by mandating that they have access to “non-directive” counselling.

ICE agents are told illegals must have “access to religious counseling, and non-directive (impartial) medical resources and social counseling, to include outside social services or women’s community resource groups.” (Emphasis added.)

LifeSiteNews.com asked the Department of Homeland Security to clarify whether this provision would block access to emergency pregnancy centers or other facilities that do not refer women for abortion. The DHS has not responded to our questions.

The PBNDS also pay for transgender illegal immigrants to continue receiving hormone treatments to “transition” to their new sex.

When new arrivals show up, ICE must “inquire into a transgender detainee’s gender self-identification and history of transition-related care.” Transgender detainees will get to choose who does their body search “whenever possible,” and the search must be conducted in private. Housing for transgender detainees “shall consider the detainee’s gender self-identification and an assessment of placement on the detainee’s mental health and well-being.”

“Placement decisions should not be based solely” on the “physical anatomy of the detainee,” the PBNDS states.

“Transgender detainees who were already receiving hormone therapy when taken into ICE custody shall have continued access. All transgender detainees shall have access to mental health care, and other transgender-related health care and medication based on medical need. Treatment shall follow accepted guidelines regarding medically necessary transition-related care.”

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told LifeSiteNews.com that the new policy “changes the whole concept behind medical care for people in detention.”

“The reason you have medical care for illegal immigrants in detention is that you make sure they are healthy enough to be deported…not to be a full-service medical provider,” Kirkorian told LifeSiteNews. “It’s temporary, transitional, and the idea that you’re supposed to be dental care and hormone treatments is just ridiculous.”

Krikorian, the author of How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration, said the Obama administration received negative feedback when it first proposed the sex-change treatments months ago.

“It’s almost like it’s from The Onion,” Krikorian told LifeSiteNews. “It’s clearly not the best use of our taxpayer dollars.”

One of the people outraged by the new policy is Congressman Lamar Smith, R-TX, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “The Obama administration’s new detention manual is more like a hospitality guideline for illegal immigrants,” he said in a statement e-mailed to LifeSiteNews.com. “The administration goes beyond common sense to accommodate illegal immigrants and treats them better than citizens in federal custody.”

Congressman Smith’s Immigration Subcommittee will hold a detention oversight hearing to address the latest PBNDS at the end of March.