The following comes from a June 24 release on Common Dreams, an ACLU website
The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Northern California, and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California today filed a lawsuit against the federal government for awarding millions of dollars annually to organizations that fail to provide crucial medical care to unaccompanied immigrant minors. The government authorizes some of these organizations to refuse — on religious grounds — to follow the law that requires access to contraception and abortion, even in cases of rape.
The suit claims that by authorizing government grantees to impose religiously based restrictions on young women’s access to reproductive health care the government has violated the constitutional guarantee of the separation of church and state. Groups like the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have been awarded upwards of $10 million annually to care for these young people, despite its explicit refusal to allow these young women to access contraception and abortion. Placing restrictions on reproductive health care has devastating consequences for this population, according to the ACLU. A high number of unaccompanied immigrant minors have been raped in their home countries or during their journey to the United States, and therefore they have an acute need for critical reproductive health care.
“When a teen has endured unthinkable tragedy — violence, rape, a terrifying journey to an unfamiliar place — and she arrives here afraid and alone, the last thing we should do is deny her the care she needs,” said ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Brigitte Amiri. “Our taxpayer dollars should not be used to authorize organizations to violate the law and impose their religious beliefs on these young women and deny them care they desperately need.”
The federal government is legally required to provide unaccompanied immigrant minors — children and teenagers who come to the U.S. on their own — with basic necessities, such as housing, food, and access to emergency and routine medical care, including family planning services and abortion. Reports indicate that between 60 and 80 percent of women and girls who cross the border are sexually assaulted.
“The federal government can’t abdicate its legal obligation to protect and provide reproductive health care to these vulnerable young women. Allowing religious organization to dictate the type of care that these teens, who often have fled unimaginable violence, receive is not only unlawful but also cruel,” said ACLU of Southern California LGBTQ, Gender, and Reproductive Justice Project Director Melissa Goodman.
Documents obtained through an ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show that the federal government approved grants to USCCB even though it was well aware that USCCB’s agreement with its sub-grantees explicitly prohibits them from providing, referring for, or in any way facilitating access to contraceptives and abortion services. The FOIA documents also show that the government allowed religiously affiliated grantees to effectively kick young women out of their programs because they requested an abortion.
The ACLU filed a similar case in January 2009 in Massachusetts after the ACLU learned through an investigation that the federal government allowed USCCB to impose religiously based restrictions on reproductive health services in a taxpayer funded program for trafficking victims. In March 2012, the district court ruled in the ACLU’s favor, holding that a religious institution does not have the right to use taxpayer money to impose its beliefs on trafficking survivors and deny them access to reproductive health care. In January 2013, the First Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case as moot since USCCB’s contract expired and was not renewed.
Despite the federal government’s assurance that USCCB would not be awarded the trafficking contract in the foreseeable future, the federal government once again awarded that contract to USCCB in 2015. The ACLU has filed a FOIA lawsuit to obtain more information about that contract.
Is this a case of feeding the hand that bites you?
Dare one say that this is the one time one should hope the ACLU wins a suit. One way to reform the bishops and make it Christ’s church again would be to cut off all gov funding.
C., Sadly, you are so right! Many of the Bishops have sold out thru the USCCB & it’s CRS work. I just read recently they proposed a budget to our government congress asking for $330 million for USAID & $5.67 billion (that’s BILLION) for PEPFAR. What on earth are they involved in to the tune of $5.67 BILLION dollars, does anybody know? They must be giddy @ the thought of all that money (US tax payers $) for their projects. Churchmilitant reported the funding includes contraception/condoms, confirmed by USCCB. Also look @ USCCB & PEPFAR 2016 or USCCB & USAID 2016 for some articles. But what other ‘globalist’ projects are they spending (re-distributing) all that money on? Anybody?
Continued…..RE: USCCB & PEPFAR: Found out it is for — AIDS & HIV treatments & prevention (condoms?) mostly in Africa. Is AIDS & HIV is an epidemic there?
My question — why are they not suing the bishops for taking government funding for bringing Muslims over here?
I wonder if the ACLU will ever sue concerning the Church’s tax exempt status?
As long as the Church is treated like all other “churches”, I would doubt it.
Just more proof that the Anti-Christian Liberties Union is a left wing hate group!
When you take Caesar’s Coin – you become the stooge of Caesar (Soetoro) and Must Adopt whatever Evil makes Caesar gay.