Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Pete Winn

10/27/2011 (3 years ago)

Cybercast News Service (cnsnews.com)

The contract pointed out that 'preference' would be given to those who offer 'the full-range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care,' which is a codeword for artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion,

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has refused to renew a $2.5-million grant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help human trafficking victims, and the USCCB believes the reason is because, in keeping with Catholic teaching, it will not offer women artificial contraceptives, sterilizations or abortions.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, a professing Catholic, does not recognize the fundamental Right to Life

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, a professing Catholic, does not recognize the fundamental Right to Life

Highlights

By Pete Winn

Cybercast News Service (cnsnews.com)

10/27/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Human Trafficking, pro-Life, USCCB, Kathleen Sebelius,


WASHINGTON,DC (CNSNews.com) - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has refused to renew a $2.5-million grant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to help human trafficking victims, and the USCCB believes the reason is because, in keeping with Catholic teaching, it will not offer women artificial contraceptives, sterilizations or abortions.

"The USCCB feels that this was unfair and wants to know how this decision was made, so [the bishops] are in the process of requesting that information now," Sr. Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), told CNSNews.com.

Walsh said the HHS did not explain why it turned down the Catholic Church's application, but that in accepting bids to provide services for victims of human trafficking, the HHS funding announcement stated that it would give "preference" to grantees that offer victims a referral to medical providers who do provide abortion and family planning services.

"The contract pointed out that 'preference' would be given to those who offer 'the full-range of legally permissible gynecological and obstetric care,' which is a codeword for artificial contraception, sterilization and abortion," Walsh told CNSNews.com.

Walsh pointed out that the funding announcement did not state that faith-based organizations would be excluded, but rather, she said, "required an explanation of the limits of services provided by an organization with an estimated impact and a plan for mitigating the impact."

Walsh said the USCCB explained in its application that its Migrant and Refugee Services (MRS) section had worked with 163 organizations ranging from the Salvation Army to the YMCA to Lutheran family service to help more than 2,700 victims.

The Catholic Church does refer clients to other groups for many services related to reproductive health, which do not violate Catholic teaching, Walsh said, including screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), gynecological health, obstetrics and pre-natal care.

There are only three specific procedures not provided: abortion, artificial contraception and sterilization.

Walsh said that the MRS pointed out in its application that over the past 5 years it has not seen clients negatively impacted by this policy, and it projected that it would not impact future clients.

Approximately $4.7 million in funding went to three agencies: $1,095,711 to an Atlanta-based group called Tapestri; $1,020,250 to Heartland Human Care Services of Chicago; and $2,589,125 to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Washington, D.C.

"The Services to Victims of Human Trafficking contract held by USCCB did expire as scheduled on October 10th, 2011.  The USCCB continues to be a grantee for a number of ORR programs that support refugees and children," HHS spokesman Jesse Moore said in a statement.

"The case management services formerly provided through the Services to Victims of Human Trafficking contract are no longer being provided by a contractor," read the statement.  "Instead,  grantees, who were selected through a commonly used competitive grant process, are providing case management services under the National Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Program."

"HHS's primary focus in serving victims of human trafficking is to keep them as healthy and supported as possible," the statement said.  "These are individuals who have endured traumatic experiences in many cases and who face uniquely complex challenges.  Our focus is always on the needs of victims, and ensuring that they have access to high-quality comprehensive case management services."

Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the federal government distributes money for services needed by thousands of women, children and men who have been brought into the United States for forced labor, especially those forced into prostitution.

Walsh said the USCCB has advocated on behalf of victims of trafficking since the late 1990s, even before the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act in 2000.

This has included working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the FBI, the Department of Justice and other partners to improve the nation's response to this crime and provide better screening and treatment of victims, she said.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Massachusetts have gone to federal court in Boston arguing that HHS must be prohibited from imposing "religiously based restrictions on reproductive health services" for victims of sex trafficking.

The ACLU filed suit in 2009 against HHS over its partnership with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

"Human trafficking is the modern-day equivalent of slavery," Sarah Wunsch, staff attorney with the ACLU of Massachusetts said in a recent statement.

"Taxpayer funds should not be given to organizations that withhold vital services from vulnerable victims based on religious doctrine - that is a blatant violation of the separation between church and state," she said.

The liberal legal group added: "Although HHS did not renew USCCB's contract this year, the ACLU seeks a judgment to ensure that taxpayer dollars are never misused to impose religious restrictions on vulnerable trafficking victims that receive U.S. aid."

But the Catholic bishops say that requiring referral for abortion services as a precondition of obtaining government money is not allowable under current law, Walsh said.

"First of all, we would question that that is even legal to do that, because there are three amendments - the Church amendment, Coats-Snowe and the Weldon amendment - that all say you can't do that," Sister Walsh said. "It violates religious freedom."

The 1973 Church amendment, sponsored by then-Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho), says that public officials may not require individuals or entities who receive public funds to perform abortion or sterilization procedures or to "make facilities or personnel available for the performance of such procedures if such performance would be contrary to [the individual or entity's] religious beliefs or moral convictions."

The 1996 Coats-Snowe amendment  -- offered by Sens. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) -- bars government discrimination against a health-care training program or other "health-care entity" for refusing to perform or train in the performance of abortions.

Under the 2005 amendment sponsored by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), an extension of the 1980s-era Hyde Amendment, a "physician or other health care professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care facility" may refuse abortions, counseling, or referrals, even in cases of rape, incest, or medical emergency.

The Catholic Church has received an estimated $20 million to administer human trafficking assistance over the last decade.

---

Study after study by the Media Research Center, the parent organization of CNSNews.com, clearly demonstrate a liberal bias in many news outlets bias by commission and bias by omission that results in a frequent double-standard in editorial decisions on what constitutes "news." In response to these shortcomings, MRC Chairman L. Brent Bozell III founded CNSNews.com in an effort to provide an alternative news source that would cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission.



Comments


More U.S.

Bill Clinton Panders to Homosexual Activist Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C. We Will Resist Them Watch

Image of Pictured: Bill Clinton

This is the same President who, one year after he signed the Defense of Marriage Act, told the Homosexual and lesbian magazine The Advocate - I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or considered. So, what has changed? Certainly not the truth about marriage. It cannot and will not change. Rather, this politician has changed. And, his wife wants to be President of the United States.

By Keith A. Fournier

All people of good will who recognize the vital role that marriage and the family play in serving the common good must get ready for what lies ahead. All people of good will who respect free speech, free association and the free exercise of religion must not be ... continue reading


Why Christians Should Celebrate Halloween - and Transform the Culture Watch

Image of Noah dressed up as the Incredible Hulk

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The International Association of Exorcists sponsored a gathering in Vatican City on the last weekend of October in 2014. The organization was formally approved by the Holy See in June. The global Press was enamored with the notion that the Church even recognizes ... continue reading


Three men sentenced for participation in Internet child pornography ring Watch

Image of The 13 defendants, who range in age from 23 to 66, are from Indiana, New Jersey, Washington, Virginia, Maryland, Oregon, Missouri, Montana, Kentucky, Arizona and Massachusetts.

By Stella Dawson, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The United States this week sentenced to prison three men involved in an international child pornography ring that exchanged online pictures and videos of children engaged in sexual acts, the government said on Wednesday. WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - ... continue reading


How could he let it happen? 92% of Afghan war Marine KIA under Obama Watch

Image of During the entire, 12 years war in Afghanistan, 92% of U.S. Marine casualties took place under the six years of President Obama's term.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Earlier this week the U.S. Marine Corps withdrew its forces from Camp Leatherneck in Helmand province in Afghanistan, effectively ending their 13 year involvement in the Afghan war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "U.S. Marines and service members from the ... continue reading


VIDEO: Antares rocket launch fails with fire and smoke Watch

Image of The Antares rocket was set to launch on October 27, but was postponed a day because a ship was in its expected trajectory.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A private contracted, unmanned NASA rocket exploded just after launch along coastal Virginia early on the evening of October 28 . LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft, products of Orbital Sciences Corp., were set to ... continue reading


Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christian Leaders Stand in Solidarity to Defend Marriage Watch

Image of Marriage as existing solely between one man and one woman was not an idea manufactured by the Christian Church. It precedes Christianity. Though affirmed, fulfilled, and elevated by Christian teaching, the truth that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman is not based on religion or revelation alone, but on the Natural Moral Law, written on the human heart and discernible through the exercise of reason

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Marriage Solidarity Statement was drafted by Deacon Keith Fournier, Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Alliance, and Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action. It was vetted among other Christian pastors and leaders ... continue reading


A 'Living legend': Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, last of the Crow war chiefs, turns 101 Watch

Image of Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, a living legend at 101, and a renown historian and scholar of the Crow people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, the last Crow war chief, turned 101 on October 27, and spent the day at the Bighorn Battlefield, with his son. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I was fortunate when I was growing up," he said. "The Crow Indians were still retaining the ... continue reading


Former TV reporter says computer was bugged by Obama administration Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former President Richard M. Nixon was notorious for the surveillance he used on who he perceived as being enemies - but it appears that current U.S. president, Barack Obama could have taught "Tricky Dick" a thing or two. According to former CBS reporter Sharyl ... continue reading


School shooting in Washington state leaves 2 dead, five injured Watch

Image of Kids and parents react to news of the shooting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A shooting has occurred at a school in Washington, in which authorities believe a bullied student shot and killed another. The shooter is also believed to be dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A school shooting has taken place at Marysville-Pilchuck High School ... continue reading


Guns Do Not Have Rights, People Do. Legitimate Self Defense is One of Them

Image of Guns have no rights, only people do.Yes, one of them is the Right to Self Defense - and the Right to defend your neighbor. You may ask,

By Keith A. Fournier

We live in a precarious time in the United States of America. Many of us are deeply concerned about the effort to infringe upon the fundamental rights which were delineated in the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. I have written extensively about ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Philippians 1:1-11
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
1 Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 31st, 2014 Image

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter