August 23, 2018 Press Release

HHS Official’s Holocaust Statements Attract National Attention,
Calls for Resignation

08.23.18 – Yesterday, Mother Jones reported that Scott Lloyd — the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), an office within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — once equated abortion to the Holocaust, saying, “Jews who died in the Holocaust had a chance to laugh, play, sing, dance, learn, and love each other. The victims of abortion do not.”

The same report reveals that Lloyd once helped a woman he slept with obtain an abortion. As ORR Director, Lloyd has tried to deny at least seven women access to abortion, a move that has been strongly rebuked by the courts.

Still, HHS continues to stand by Lloyd, with an anonymous HHS spokesperson telling The Hill in a statement that “Mr. Lloyd has testified publicly to his personal and religious beliefs regarding abortion, and explained he does not let his religion guide his job as ORR director.”

Equity Forward has called for Lloyd’s immediate removal. Other organizations have voiced similar opposition:

“[R]emarks by ORR Director Scott Lloyd inappropriately comparing abortion to the Holocaust are deeply offensive and insensitive to the victims of the Holocaust… Mr. Lloyd directs an agency whose responsibility it is to provide resources and support to refugees escaping violence and persecution” – ADL Deputy National Director Kenneth Jacobson.

“Scott Lloyd comparing abortion to the Holocaust is disgusting. Someone with these views — and has abused his position to attempt to block women from obtaining abortion care — should resign immediately.” — National Women’s Law Center

“Lloyd’s comments that characterize the Holocaust as somehow preferable to abortion are appalling and shocking. He should have been fired prior to these revelations for his behavior violating civil rights, but keeping him in this position now is untenable.  We call on Secretary Alex Azar to fire Lloyd immediately.” — Equity Forward Executive Director Mary Alice Carter

In addition, his comments have drawn widespread media attention, including:

The Washington Post’s Health 202: “OOF: Scott Lloyd, the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, reportedly drove his pregnant college girlfriend to get an abortion and later compared the death of his unborn child to the Holocaust.”

Headline in The Hill: “HHS official compared abortion to the Holocaust as law school student”

The New Republic’s Sarah Jones: “Lloyd thinks abortion is actually worse than the Holocaust: that even though Jews were rounded up into cattle cars to face torture, forced labor, starvation, and death by poison gas, they got to be happy first, and thus abortion constitutes the more significant atrocity…To call Lloyd’s beliefs fringe would be an understatement: Elsewhere in the essay, Lloyd suggests pregnancy and childbirth are nothing compared to what Christian martyrs endured, ridiculing women who leave the Church over its abortion position…There’s no evidence Lloyd’s convictions have moderated. As head of ORR, he has repeatedly tried to prevent pregnant immigrant minors from getting abortions, and has forced them to visit religious crisis pregnancy centers.”