The pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Obama administration for documents it says will show that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is restricting access to abortions for unaccompanied immigrant children.
In February 2014, the USCCB objected to a new regulation proposed by the Obama administration that would require contractors to provide access to contraception and abortion for unaccompanied immigrant children who have been raped. In an official letter, the USCCB as well as World Relief, the National Association of Evangelicals and Catholic Relief Services, explained that the new regulation violates religious liberty, specifically the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
They wrote, “There is little question that a government requirement to provide or refer for items or procedures to which an organization has a religious and moral objection would impose a ‘substantial burden’ on its exercise of religion.” Additionally, the USCCB said they were opposed to transferring teenagers to other groups that would do abortions because they believe it still enables actions that violate their religious beliefs.
Brigitte Amiri, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, disagrees and said, “The bishops want to take millions of dollars in government contracts, but at the same time, they don’t want to comply with the terms of the contracts.”
Like this pro-life news article? Please support LifeNews during our current fundraising campaign with a donation!
However, the bishops said, “We believe that, through practical discussions, we can find a resolution that allows the government to fulfill its obligation to care for unaccompanied children, while also respecting the religious and moral beliefs of faith-based organization that, to date, have provided such critical care for this vulnerable population.”
As LifeNews previously reported, during the Bush administration the USCCB received a five-year $19 million grant to help victims of sex trafficking. But unfortunately, the Obama administration has refused to protect religious liberty and denied the bishops the renewal of their grant because they would not refer the women for abortions.
After the grant was denied, Sister Mary Ann Walsh suggested that the U.S Department of Health discriminates against Catholics. She said, “There seems to be a new unwritten reg at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It’s the ABC Rule, Anybody But Catholics. The program worked well on the ground but not so well for distant administrators promoting the abortion and contraceptive agenda, who bristle at the fact that in accord with church teaching, USCCB won’t facilitate taking innocent life, sterilization and artificial contraception.”
Thankfully, the USCCB has not wavered on their opposition of abortion or their refusal to be apart of it in any way. In fact, in 2014, the Catholic bishops were so upset about taxpayer funding of abortions in Obamacare they urged Congress to shutdown the federal government so the issue can be addressed.