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Jonathan Hayes

Interim Director, Office of Refugee Resettlement; Chief of Staff, Administration for Children and Families

Jonathan H. Hayes was appointed interim director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) after Scott Lloyd was ousted from the role in November 2018. A few months prior, Hayes had joined the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as chief of staff at the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Before this, he had no direct experience working with refugees or in the health care field; his eight years of political experience were spent working for conservative anti-abortion members of Congress.

HOW THEIR ROLE AFFECTS ACCESS TO REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is responsible for refugees and immigrants entering the United States. Under the Trump administration, the office has unlawfully restricted migrant access to abortion, illegally denying multiple teenage girls’ rights to obtain an abortion.

PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT OF NOTE

Chief of Staff, Rep. Debbie Lesko, 2018 

Chief of Staff, Rep. Trent Franks, 2017 – 2018

Chief of Staff, Rep. Steve Southerland, 2012 – 2015

District Director, Rep. Steve Sutherland, 2011– 2012

Campaign Manager, Southerland For Congress, 2010 – 2011

TIES TO OTHER ANTI-CHOICE EXTREMISTS

Former Rep. Steve Southerland:

Hayes worked for Steve Southerland’s congressional campaign, then worked in his district and D.C. offices once elected. Southerland holds anti-abortion views that he acted on while serving in Congress: he co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act (H.R. 1091) in 2013-14, which would have effectively reversed Roe v. Wade. Southerland has also been lauded by extremist group Susan B. Anthony List for co-sponsoring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797) in 2013, which attempted to amend the federal criminal code to prohibit abortions past 20 weeks.

Former Rep. Trent Franks:

Hayes was Franks’ chief of staff after Southerland left the House. Franks, a “vocal social conservative” authored “numerous anti-abortion bills.” Franks once made the obviously false claim that the “incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low” during debate over a draconian anti-abortion bill that he sponsored.

Rep. Debbie Lesko: 

Hayes served as Rep. Debbie Lesko's chief of staff just before working at HHS. Lesko attended the 2019 "Pro-Life Con" event at the Family Research Council, a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group. There, she gave remarks, and announced that she "will soon be sponsoring pro-life legislation called, 'Save our Children Act,' which will prohibit dismemberment abortions." After Secretary Azar declared HHS to be "the department of life" that defines life as beginning at conception, Lesko tweeted a photo of her with Azar and the FRC moderator, Tony Perkins: 

[Debbie Lesko Twitter, 1/18/19]

HIGHLIGHTS

Hayes Supported Shutting Down The Government Until Obamacare Was Defunded:

“A caucus of state committee members passed a resolution asking the party to stand Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and urge congressional Republicans to stand their ground and refuse to fund the Affordable Care Act. ‘This is not a time for us to back down up in D.C,’ declared Bay County state committeeman Jonathan Hayes, who is also chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City. ‘We must win this battle. This shut down is President Obama's fault. This shut down is Harry Reid's fault and the American people have got to hear it.’” [Tampa Bay Times, 10/5/13]

THE WHOLE STORY

Jonathan Hayes: One-Time Chief Of Staff To Disgraced Sexual Harasser And Anti-Abortion Clinic Protestor Rep. Trent Franks

Hayes Served As Chief Of Staff To Former Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) From January 2015 To December 2017 — The Position Is Not On His LinkedIn — When Franks Announced His Resignation Amid Misconduct Allegations Related To His Staff.

Trent Franks Harassed Female Staffers To Serve As Surrogates For Him And His Wife. “Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) resigned from the House of Representatives Friday, citing his wife’s sudden hospitalization, despite announcing yesterday that he would wait to resign until January — just as details of the lawmaker’s inappropriate behavior with his female staff broke in the press. The Associated Press reported that Franks offered a female staffer $5 million to serve as a surrogate for him and his wife, an allegation that is being investigated by the House Ethics Committee.” [Vox, 12/8/17]

Franks’ Aides Were Concerned He Was Asking Them To Have “Sexual Relations” With Him When He Asked Them To Be Surrogates. “The sources said Franks approached two female staffers about acting as a potential surrogate for him and his wife, who has struggled with fertility issues for years. But the aides were concerned that Franks was asking to have sexual relations with them. It was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization. Franks opposes abortion rights as well as procedures that discard embryos.” [Politico, 12/8/17]

Franks Is Virulently Anti-Abortion: He Introduced Draconian Anti-Abortion Bills While Serving As Representative And Was Known To Protest Outside Abortion Clinics.

Franks Was A Member Of An Anti-Abortion Organization And Picketed Abortion Clinics. “As one of the most conservative members of Congress, Franks was a member of the Arizona Right to Life organization and was known for picketing abortion clinics.” [Washington Post, 12/8/17]

Franks Introduced Bills To Severely Reduce Women’s Ability To Access Abortion. “In 2013 and this year, he introduced bills to ban abortions after 20 weeks except in cases of rape or incest. While IVF and abortion are two different and distinct medical procedures, many antiabortion leaders consider them similarly wrong in that they typically result in the destruction of embryos.”  [Washington Post, 12/8/17]