Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Pete Winn

10/27/2011 (2 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

Article Highlights

By Pete Winn

Cybercast News Service (cnsnews.com)

10/27/2011 (2 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.

The Birth of Catholic Evangelism Watch

Image of I recently interviewed Jeff Cavins  for my weekly show  on Ave Maria Radio.  Jeff, who is nationally known for his study guides to the Bible, has just taken a job as Director of Evangelism at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  It's a significant point in this nation's Church history that an apologist/educator with EWTN origins has taken a significant job inside an archdiocese.

By Deal W. Hudson

In spite of being ignored, and in some cases blacklisted, several of the hosts of EWTN radio and TV shows grew ministries of their own in the evangelistic Catholic style of Mother Angelica's still-prospering network. Jeff Cavins is one of the most successful of ... continue reading


Good Friday: Behold the Wood of the Cross Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

This is Good Friday. This is the day when the whole world stands still. We recall the great Sacrifice offered on the second tree on Golgotha's Hill. There, the one St. Paul calls the New Adam (1 Cor.15), in the perfect obedience of love, did for us  what we ... continue reading


Suffering, Struggle and the Christian Revolution Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Christian tradition instructs us that even undeserved and unmerited suffering, when joined in love to the sufferings of Jesus Christ, can produce extraordinary fruit within us - and then through us, as we change. This is a part of the teaching on the mystery ... continue reading


FORCED BESTIALITY: Evil teenage girls sexually assault autistic boy - and record it for posterity Watch

Image of Seventeen-year-old Lauren Bush along with her 15-year-old accomplice are accused by the St. Mary's County sheriff's department on numerous charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an episode shocking for its sheer cruelty, two teenage girls in Maryland are now in custody after they repeatedly abused a 16-year-old autistic boy - eventually making him perform sexual acts with a family pet - and recording it all on their cell phones. LOS ... continue reading


HOW LONG BEFORE THE SYSTEM BREAKS? Working Americans increasingly made to pay for those on welfare Watch

Image of Those who work in America are increasingly being made to pay for those who don't -- in the manner of an over-burdened ox.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're an American who awakes each day to begin a day of toil you have no interest in, take heed: There are only more reasons to hit your pillow in frustration each night as you drift off to sleep. You are an endangered species, and the media has not rallied ... continue reading


Ron Paul warns Feds may stage 'Waco styled' raid Watch

Image of Cliven Bundy has been fighting with the Bureau of Land Management for 20 years over his cattle and grazing rights.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Cliven Bundy, his family, their supporters, and myriad militiamen forced federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management to back off of the Bundy's Nevada ranch and release hundreds of captured cattle, one politician warns that the feds could be planning ... continue reading


What does this say about America? More people getting food stamps than women working full-time Watch

Image of There were only 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 1969.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a distressing figure that shines a most unflattering light on affairs here in the United States. According to recent statistics, those  participating in the food stamp program, or SNAP outnumbered the number of women who worked full-time, year-round ... continue reading


Palm/Passion Sunday: Will We Make This Week Holy By Encountering Jesus Christ? Watch

Image of Holy Week invites us to let go of self and embrace the Lord Jesus anew through saying Yes to the invitation to continuing conversion. How desperately we all need to hear the Good news that we can begin again!

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Palm/ Passion Sunday: Make This Holy Week a Deep Encounter With Jesus Christ!During this week called Holy, the Lord Jesus is extending His saving Hand to each one of us anew. The timeless one has broken into time and now transforms it from within. The question is ... continue reading


Living Among the Pharisees Watch

Image of Christ Before the High Priest

By Deal W. Hudson

I will not quote directly from the article - there is no need to infect readers with the Phariseeism pervading Ruse's psychological/spiritual analysis of Thomas Williams. The readers can judge for themselves. I've been the target of similar, and worse, ... continue reading


Time for a Movement Rooted in the Real Social Doctrine of the Church Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Christian social teaching challenges any notion of human freedom which begins and ends with the isolated, atomistic, person as the measure of its application. We are by nature and grace called to relationship. Only in communion can we become fully human and find ... 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, Isaiah 52:13--53:12
13 Look, my servant will prosper, will grow great, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
2 turn your ear to me, make haste. Be for me a ... Read More

Gospel, John 18:1--19:42
1 After he had said all this, Jesus left with his ... Read More

Reading 2, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
14 Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2014 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... 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