Catholic bishops in Texas blasted the ACLU last week for trying to force the government to help a teenage immigrant abort her unborn baby.
The pro-abortion legal group has taken on the teen’s case in an effort that could force the government to facilitate abortions for all women and girls on U.S. soil. The teen is about 15 weeks pregnant and came to the United States illegally.
Last week, a federal judge nominated by Barack Obama ordered the Trump administration to help the 17-year-old get an abortion; however, an appeals court panel stopped the judge’s order Wednesday. The ACLU is appealing.
“Federal and Texas state officials are to be commended for defending the life of an innocent unborn child in a recent case involving an unaccompanied pregnant minor in federal immigration custody,” the Texas Catholic bishops said in a statement Friday, the Catholic News Service reports.
They criticized the ACLU for trying to “require the government to facilitate and participate in ending the innocent life of the unborn child, diminishing the historic promise of our nation to serve as a beacon of hope for all.”
Here’s more from CNS:
The Texas bishops said the ACLU’s case — “compelling others to perform, facilitate or pay for abortion who do not wish to do so” — is unconscionable. “No one — the government, private individuals or organizations — should be forced to be complicit in abortion,” they said.
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They also pointed out that the Catholic Church in Texas has provided assistance and shelter to unaccompanied immigrant minors, refugees and pregnant mothers for decades.
“As this case continues through the legal process, we pray for this young mother and her unborn child, so both may enjoy the protection and refuge the United States offers,” they bishops said.
Earlier this year, the Office of Refugee Resettlement issued a new policy requiring that taxpayer-funded shelters for immigrants and refugees offer life-affirming support to women and girls who are pregnant, according to Slate.
Office Director Scott Lloyd, a Trump nominee, said the shelters may not take “any action that facilitates” an abortion for unaccompanied minors without his direct approval.
Lloyd said that “grantees should not be supporting abortion services … only pregnancy services and life-affirming options counseling.”
The ACLU responded by filing a lawsuit against the government this summer.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a pro-life advocate, argued in support of the new policy. He said immigrants who come to the United States illegally do not have a “constitutional right to an abortion on demand.”
He said the ACLU is using the vulnerable young woman’s case to try to “create a right to abortion for anyone on earth who enters the U.S. illegally. And with that right, countless others undoubtedly would follow. Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions.”
Paxton continued, “The states have a legitimate and substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life, as well as an interest in promoting respect for human life at all stages in the pregnancy.”
The ACLU claims the federal office violated the girl’s constitutional rights by refusing to help her get an abortion through the taxpayer-funded shelter in Texas.
According to the report, the shelter took the girl to a pro-life pregnancy resource center instead. The ACLU said the girl did not change her mind after receiving counseling, and scheduled an abortion; however, the shelter where she is staying refused to transport her to the appointment.
A spokesperson for the Office of Refugee Resettlement said the girl and her unborn baby are receiving excellent care at the shelter.
The new Trump administration policy is a stark contrast to pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s administration, which mandated that unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children be given access to abortion at taxpayer-funded shelters. The Obama Administration also put abortion ahead of human trafficking victims by denying grants to Catholic charities because they wouldn’t help victims get abortions.